Problem with User Manual tutorial (Gus the Gingerbread Man)

There’s a problem with the first tutorial in the blender user guide ( and If you recall, that tutorial has you build a gingerbread man complete with sugar spheres to represent the eyes, mouth, and shirt buttons. The skin is automatically attached to the armature before animating (using the bone heat approach, apparently, though the text decribing it is out of date). The problem is that the spheres sink through the skin during animation. Currently the spheres are separate objects. I can certainly think of approaches that make them sink less, like adding them to the body mesh before automatically attaching to the armature, but the problem still remains.

Question 1 (for my benefit): What’s the best way to make the spheres track the skin as closely as possible? Short of infinite tweaking on the bone weights of the verts in the spheres, I mean.

Question 2 (for the tutorial’s sake): Is there any technique that’s simple enough for a tutorial? I’d be happy to do the work of fixing the tutorial if I knew of a reasonable approach.