Toys for Shelter Animals - Xactly Care Week


For lost or abandoned animals that end up in shelters, life can be pretty "ruff". This kit provides all the necessary materials to create three cat toys and two dog toys for these animals, allowing you to bring them a bit of much-needed joy. 


Approximately 6.5 million animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. These shelters are often overwhelmed and underfunded, reporting higher-than-ever rates of incoming lost or abandoned animals.


Animal shelters across the country operate under extremely tight budgets. This means that most of the donations they receive go towards food and other essentials, not toys. By completing this KyndKit, you're providing shelter animals with opportunities for fun that they might not otherwise receive. And who knows -- the toys might just allow these animals to show off their fun sides to a future adopter.  


These are the instructions for Toys for Shelter Animals. Questions? Email us at

1. Complete the gratitude practice included in your KyndKit.


3. Construct two "Braided Tugs" for a Shelter Dog 

Included materials used for this step: 

  • Two sets of four long fabric strips (eight long strips in total)
    • NOTE: There are enough strips to construct TWO braided tugs! 


  • Watch this video OR follow the written instructions below

  • Start with four fabric strips
  • Tie them all together with a knot at one end. (One way to accomplish this is by stacking the strips into two pairs and knotting the pairs together.) Be sure to tighten it!
  • Spread the four strips out so that each is facing a different direction. Let's call the strip facing you "1", then "2", "3" and "4" going clockwise.
  • To make a box braid, cross "1" over "2", "2" over "3", "3" over "4", and tuck "4" into the first loop (created by "1" over "2"). Pull all strips to tighten.
  • Repeat the above step until you run out of fabric. At this point, tie a knot to finish the toy.


Helpful Tips:

  • The tighter you pull your braid and knots, the longer the toy will last!
  • If you're having trouble following the written steps, we highly recommend taking a look at the linked video.

3. Construct two "Fuzzy Spiders" for a Shelter Cat 

Included materials used for this step: 

  • Two fabric squares
  • Two sets of three pipe cleaners (six pipe cleaners in total)
    • NOTE: There is enough material to create TWO cat toys

You'll also need:

  • A pair of scissors


  • Cut TWO pipe cleaners in half.
  • Arrange the resulting short pieces together in a bundle and twist them in the middle.
  • Wrap the remaining long pipe cleaner around the middle to make the "body" of the spider.
  • Bend the short pipe cleaners out from the center to make eight "legs", and create knees by bending each leg up and down at a 90-degree angle. 
Cut TWO pipe cleaners in halfTwist the halved pipe cleaners together in the middleTwist the 3rd pipe cleaner to make a "body"
  • Cut your fabric SQUARE (not the long strips!) into thirds.
  • Tie the three fabric strips tightly around the spider in a few different places so that it can be dragged and dangled for cats. 

Cut the fabric SQUARE (not the long strips) into thirdsTie the strips around the spider's body and legs

Helpful Tips:

  • When it comes to placement of the fabric strips, there's no wrong way to go. Make it your own! 
  • Make sure you tie the fabric strips tightly -- otherwise, cats will easily pull them off.


    4. Optional Steps

    Use household items (old t-shirts, pipe cleaners) to make your own toys.

    Or, feel free to include any of the following:

    • Newspapers
    • Washcloths
    • Towels and blankets
    • Animal care supplies (leashes, collars, bowls, etc.)
    • OTHER - give your local shelter a call or take a look at their website to see what kinds of items they accept.  

    5. Pack the Kit

    Included materials used for this step: 

    • Two completed dog toys
    • Two completed cat toys
    • Any optional additional items that you choose to donate

    DO NOT INCLUDE the instruction sheet and Kynd Card. (These are for you!)



    • Pack the completed toys and any additional options into white KyndKit bag
    • Seal the bag with packing tape

    Pack all toys back inside the KyndKit bag, then seal with packing tape


    5. Delivery Options

    • Get your shipping label from us (no charge) HERE, and send your completed kit to us. We will collect the toys and deliver them to local shelters.


    • Deliver the toys yourself to an animal shelter that you care about.


      6. Go Back to Your Gratitude Exercise

      • Write down any additional gratitude you now feel.
      • Go to the first prompt: "someone you are grateful for". 
      • Fill out your included Kynd Card and give it to that person.
      • Now you've done an act of kyndness, too!


      7. Share It




      Downloadable Instructions

      Gratitude Practice Sheet
      Group Leader Instructions

      Thank you for practicing kyndfulness with us again!