Re-root Weather:Teaching Kids to Re-root a Doll

December 30, 2015

girlsroot1After the Christmas Day excitement has worn down there is that few days until New Years’ that feels like it goes too fast until you get back to the daily grind. Unless you have a house full of kids. As much as we love our children, sometimes Christmas break can feel like a cruel and unusual punishment. This year I decided to try crafting with my kids and see if we would have a good time or if it would end in tears.

 Girl’s Day In

It was mighty cold outside-I think below freezing-but Seth had brought some of his new guns and that wasn’t going to stop his oldest son, 11 year old Wesley, and my brother in law Fidel from some hard core guy time in the mountains outside my mother’s house in the white mountains of Arizona.

Although I had wanted to teach my girls (technically they are my stepchildren but I really dislike that word and won’t be using it) to re-root so they could start learning “the family business,” I was a little weary because I didn’t think they had the personality, patience or attention span for actually doing it. About a year ago I brought some Monster High purses to paint. I figured it would be fun because the molded plastic has raised details. My youngest, Chelsi, lasted about 30 minutes before giving up from boredom. Maeleigh lasted a little longer, but they just didn’t seem to have fun doing art. Which is totally fine, every kid is different. I just found myself ill-equipped to ever do any activities with them because art is pretty much what I do. By this time they had completely forgotten about that day and convinced me they did want to do an art activity.                               So I set each girl up with a station with hair, and a rooting tool with a #5 needle and hoped for the best.


girlsroot2                               Chelsi is 8 1/2 and my youngest. She tends to play by herself and while she is pretty good in school, her attention span is pretty much non-existent and is not a fan of listening to directions. She likes art but doesn’t do much with her hands unless you count playing computer games. I was expecting MAYBE 15 minutes before she got bored, frustrated or distracted.

Midas Touch, our gold nylon hair, was her first choice, but it was a bit too slippery for beginner’s hands. So we switched to The Doll Planet Ombre Black to Grey “Ashes to Ashes” because the texture was easier to handle.

It took Chelsi about 15 minutes before she was able to do it herself. Which is pretty impressive because as a lefty I don’t make a very good teacher for 3 right-handed kids. Luckily grandma the seamstress was there to help with hand placement and looping (Grandma has never re-rooted but compared to what kind of insanely amazing stuff she does it took her about 30 seconds to pick it up.) I had no idea if she was too young for it, but she never broke a needle or poked herself. I think I was the most surprised by her patience. She worked slower but with the most care. She was also very concentrated and didn’t try to pawn the head off to me to do it for her. With the exception of maybe 2 plugs, the rest of it was done by her.


girlsroot5                                     Sydney is my younger sister’s daughter and will be 9 next month. They live in California so this visit was a rare treat. I wanted to teach her the most since I know she is artistically inclined and her parents aren’t. And if she did happen to like it then we can just send her hair and rooting needles for all future birthdays!

Using The Doll Planet Ombre Black to Pink “Manic Monday,” Sydney was the first to figure it out (with grandma’s help) and was very proud of each plug she completed. She liked counting the amount she had completed and announcing it proudly as we worked. I noticed that she was the one who kept re-imagining styles and ways to fix her hair. I could tell she has the ability to see a finished project in her mind, which made her all the more excited. She did root a little on the thick side, but still didn’t break any needles either

She worked faster than the other 2, but also made the biggest mess. 🙂


girlsroot3                                                                      Maeleigh is 10 and leans towards make-overs, gymnastics and dancing instead of sitting still for an activity. She actually didn’t join us until we were about half way through.

I had no more spare Monster High heads, so she used the one bald Barbie head I had and chose The Doll Planet Ombre Blue to White “Tron” hair. Maeleigh is creative and talented, but not always the best when it comes to comprehension. I think she was the most shocking of all because she figured out how to do it without the help of someone right handed and she rooted quickly and neatly.

She is a natural! It may have helped that she is a year older, but she did the best job of the three dividing the hair into plugs, whereas Chelsi and Sydney needed a little more help with doing that.

As soon as she figured it out, she wasn’t interested in much additional direction and wanted to do the rest herself. Which is actually uncharacteristic of her, she rarely likes doing things independently. While re-rooting she was talking about eye and lip colors to compliment her new hair.


The end result was THREE HOURS of re-rooting quietly on a cold afternoon with zero tears, yelling or even needing to have the tv on. I even got to do a little work on my own re-rooting project (which is a belated Christmas gift so I’m not posting pictures yet^^) and take turns talking in silly accents. Needless to say it resulted in a very fun afternoon and I even I didn’t get frustrated trying to teach 3 very different kids how to re-root and to take pride in their work.

So can you teach a kid to re-root? YES!


They aren’t ready to be taking quite commissions yet, but I am really proud of the girls for what a great job they did and their desire to finish their dolls-and keep them occupied through the rest of winter break!


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Posted in Uncategorized by sethgaz