The world of toys is a wonderful world, filled with a myriad of gay colours and the laughter of children.
It’s a world where a child’s imagination can turn a broomstick into a prancing steed on which he goes galloping around the countryside.
Playthings you buy or build can be as elaborate as a child-size backyard train, or as simple as home-made tumbler blocks.
Home-made toys may not look as polished, but they can be just as satisfying to the child as the most expensive purchased playthings. In fact, that are often more appreciated, many parents say.
Many toys that will give hours of enjoyment, especially to younger children, can be made of inexpensive materials, available around the home. Some of these include wooden cheese boxes, nail boxes, spools, old clock works, broomsticks or dowels.
One of the gayest of toys is a dappled bronc made from a nail keg, set on four sturdy 2 x 4 legs, each shod with a heavy caster. The head is cut from plywood. Frayed hemp rope is used for the tail and mane. Reins and saddle are plastic. A nail keg makes a fine body for a rocket ship too.
Patterns for innumerable toys children love are available in Edith Adams’ Cottage. Many of them can be made from plywood.
No expensive and unusual tools are needed to make these toys. A hammer, a screwdriver, bench vice, coping saw, hand saw, ruler, square, brace and bit, block plane, files and a pocket knife will do the job, says a teacher of woodworking.
Walnut, maple, wild cherry, birch and mahogany are among the most desirable hardwoods for toys. To save handwork, get round, square or irregular shaped moldings in finished form. Saw marks and rough edges should be smoothed by filing and sandpapering.