Wooden Toys For Children.

By: Barry Meat

Have fun with an easy to produce hummer button. Anyone can make and enjoy these straightforward, cheap toys.

The only objects needed is a piece of string and large buttons. But, a better version could be made by cutting 1/8- inch wood or hardboard discs in 3, 2-1/2 and 2-inch diameters. Drill the holes 1/2 to 1 inch apart and use two 3-inch pieces of wood dowel for the handles. Drill the holes for the string and thread the handles and disc. That's all . . . pull the handles outward and the "button" spins and hums.

Corn-stalk Fiddle:
For a few easy old-time music, find a straight piece of cornstalk and cut four slits from joint to joint. Then whittle a notched bridge, lift the "strings" with your knife point and slide the bit of wood into place. A smaller length of stalk does fine for a bow.

Cut this old favorite's disc with a band saw from an inch-thick piece of wood and assemble the top. Thread a normal shoe lace through a small hole in the stem and wind the cord while steadying the toy with a starting block. Pull the string, turn loose and take a look at her go!

Whittle a Whammydiddle:
This is a mountain toy that any child the right age to manage a jackknife can muster up in a few minutes. The only real store-bought item necessary is a tiny 1/2-inch nail or sturdy pin . . . that's it!

Cut a 1/4 to 3/8-inch caliper hard wood twig into the lengths shown. Install the free-turning blade, move the drive stick rapidly across the "washboard" notches and watch the little fella spin!

Build your very own sailboat using scrap lumber and other recycled materials.

For the hull you'll need a 20-inch piece of 2 X 4-inch pine board. Lay out the shape of the boat and carefully cut out the form on a band saw. Drill four 1/4-inch holes as shown for the mast, two joining dowel rods and the rudder shaft. Plane or sand down the bow sides equally and shape the underside of the stern with a band saw cut.

Make the cabin and keel out of 3/4-inch pine-board and join both units to the hull at the same time with two 2-1/2 X 1/4-inch dowels... matching those holes already drilled in the hull. Make sure the centerboard is both perpendicular to the hull and parallel with the ship's sides.

Next, position and glue the mast on the deck and slide the rudder shaft through the hole in the stern. Finish the rudder assembly. Meanwhile, have mum make the sail from a bright scrap of lightweight sewing fabric or an old sheet.

Clatter Blocks:
Remember this one? Just grab the end section, move it back and forth and watch the other squares tumble down the line. To create your clatter blocks, you'll will want a package of twill tape and seven 2-1/2 X 2-1/2 X 1/4-inch plywood squares. Sand the blocks smooth, weave the two outer apes loosely around the sections and staple the tapes to the top edges of the squares. Then weave the center tape through the other way and staple it to the bottom edge of each section. That's it!

This simple toy can be made entirely from recycled materials. For the chute itself use an old handkerchief, worn-out scarf, or goodly square of lightweight fabric scrap from Mom's sewing drawer-but be sure to ask her first!

Next, tie a one-foot piece of string (or longer for bigger chutes) to each of the fabric's four corners, assemble your weight as illustrated, knot those four strings to the screw eye and prepare for lift-off!

Spool Racer:
This old-timer is guaranteed to help keep the young ones occupied while you finish the chores.

The hardest item to find nowadays while gathering materials for your racer is a largewooden spool... plastic just does not make it! You'll also will want a 1/4-inch dowel three inches long, a large bead (bigger than the spool's hole)... leaving enough of each nail exposed to hold the rubber band. Wrap the band around the nails, thread it through the spool and bead, and slip the dowel through the protruding loop. Now you're ready to race. Wind the rubber-band motor, place the toy on a smooth surface and watch it go!

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I have been creating wooden toys for a company calledTinkie Toys for many years and it is still the best sight in the world when you see the childrens faces light up when you give them a wooden toy to play with.

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