Wood & Woodworking
Subtitle: Go to the shop and make stuff
Note: This page is constantly under construction, so check back to see what we’ve added (in red).
While we would like to think that the wooden toys from the Cambria Toy Store are the be all and end all for toys, they are not. I come from a long line of woodworkers, and my favorite toys as a child were not the ones ordered from the Wishbook or found in the mall in Columbia, Missouri. They were the ones made by family members: the marionette from my father, a wooden train from my grandfather, a wooden puzzle from an uncle, and a house from my mother. We all have toys and memories of play that last far beyond the memories of great events, and quite often, those memories are tied as much to the making of the toy and the toymaker as they are the actual time spent playing.
- How to Create Wooden Wheels (from the folks at Just Build Stuff)
- Woodworkers Institute (lots of “how-to” information and some pretty cool projects).
- CraftsmanSpace (a good overview to the types of hand tools and their uses)
Projects (Toys, Games, Puzzles, and other Cool Stuff)
Puzzles & Games:
- Catapult Battle Game (for kids who enjoy destroying castles from mdwoodart.com)
- Cribbage Board (Home at Home Projects
- A Name Jigsaw Puzzle (Using a scroll saw. Includes step by step instructions and a video. Just Build Stuff)
- Shape Puzzles (Learn how to make the first shape puzzle and then design your own from Shop Smith Hands On)
- And more Shape Puzzles (from Woodworking Down Under)
The Non-Motorized Division
- Balance Bike (very cool. Woodworker’s Institute)
- Mallard Steam Train (It’s a train…what more do we need to say. Woodworker’s Institute)
- Heirloom Toy Train (Shopsmith Hands-on)
- Construction Toys for the Sand Box (Mother Earth News)
- Construction Vehicles (graders, steam rollers, and a lot of other stuff from Australia)
- Tractor, Truck, and Car from Home at Home
- The Counting Frame (Abacus) (Woodworker’s Workshop)
- Parent Made Developmental Toys (Really nice collection and includes developmental activities from Kent State University)
- Child’s Workbench (Home at Home Plans)
Mechanical Toys (including String Toys)
- Mechanical Scarecrows (one of the earliest examples of a mechanical toy from the Woodworkers Institute
- Folk Toys from Popular Science (c. 1960. Henry Comstock. Includes flipperdingers, gee-haw whimmydiddles, bullroarers, and cornstalk fiddles)
- Old Fashioned Toys from Christmas Past (Mother Earth News, c. 1978, includes pull toys, toy parachute, shape sorter, and others).
- String Toys from American Woodworker (c. 1991, Includes the tumbling acrobat and the climbing lizard)
- Jacob’s Ladder (Vintage Projects...check all of their plans)
Toys for Really Small People
- Tumbling Cats (Very cool!)
- Bunny & Kitten Pull Toys (using a scroll saw. includes patterns. Scrollsawer.com)