In the summer of 2015, my family and I traveled from our home in Boston to Northern Thailand to volunteer at an orphanage.  This organization, which consists of an orphanage and a school, was established by my biological family’s church in Bangkok. Through this connection, I was given the opportunity to come up with a project idea that would be both fun and helpful to the children. My initial goal was to teach them a skill that would be useful throughout their lives, such as the basics of sewing.

While thinking about what to do, I needed to keep in mind that the children would range in age from 6 to 18 and would consist of both boys and girls. This was a big challenge for me because, to date, I’ve only taught middle school aged girls.  It was also important to come up with a project that was economical (for this project you can use fabric scraps sitting around the house along with other household items). You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make something fun and creative. 

After discussing some possible project ideas with my husband, Bill, we came up with an idea to make hacky sacks.  Bill used to play a lot of hacky sack in his younger years and he liked the fact that he could either play alone or with some friends in a group, arranged in a circle.  I believe the social and physical aspects of this game can contribute to  your overall well being. 

And speaking of well being, the creative process of making a hacky sack is also good for your spirit.  Depending on your style, you can make something that’s plain and simple, or something more decorative with lots of personality.  You can tap into your imagination to make whatever you like.  Then you can choose to either keep what you make, give them as a gift, or swap with friends. 

My hope with these hacky sacks, which I’ve renamed “Happy Sacks”, is that they will bring people together…to create, to play, to share, to commune…fostering happiness. This project can be done in any group setting  (orphanages, schools, or at town/youth centers), or you can make these at home either alone or with friends.  This project could come in handy for birthday parties or possibly on a rainy day when you’re looking for a bit of cheer. 

You’ll notice in the instructions that the supply list for making these Happy Sacks is very short, yet the possibilities are endless. 

Let’s create together, let’s remember to play, and let’s keep connecting to one another.  Do happy, be happy!