Homemade Toy Ideas From Our Workshop

Don't gripe about the cost or quality of children's playthings. Give your little one(s) a homemade toy.

| November/December 1981

  • 072 homemade toy - diagram - guardhouse
    Diagram shows cut lines and fold lines for the cardboard guardhouse. Scale: 1 square = 1 inch.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 072 homemade toy 2 wood soldier photo
    A wooden soldier in his cardboard guardhouse is a relatively simple but still worthwhile homemade toy.
    PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 072 homemade toy 2 wood soldier diagram
    Diagram shows parts and dimensions of the wooden soldier.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • backhoe
    Your children can play with dirt—not IN the dirt— when they have the bantam backhoe.  
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 072 homemade toys 1 backhoe diagram
    Diagram shows the parts, dimensions, and assembly method for the bantam backhoe.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 072 homemade toy - diagram - backhoe bucket
    Diagram shows the cut lines and fold lines for the backhoe's scoop or bucket. Scale: 1 square = 1 inch.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 072 homemade toys 3 rocker slide photo1, playing
    Turn the teeter-totters tunnel slide another way and it's ... a tunnel or a slide.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 072 homemade toys 3 rocker slide diagram
    Diagram shows the parts and assembly method for the teeter-totter tunnel slide.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 072 homemade toys 3 rocker slide photo2, reading
    The teeter-totter tunnel slide is a versatile structure. Turn it one way and it's a reading chair
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 072 homemade toy - diagram - rocker's sides
    Diagram shows the shape and size, scaled down, of the teeter-totter tunnel slide. Scale: 1 square = 1 inch.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 072 homemade toy - diagram - guardhouse
  • 072 homemade toy 2 wood soldier photo
  • 072 homemade toy 2 wood soldier diagram
  • backhoe
  • 072 homemade toys 1 backhoe diagram
  • 072 homemade toy - diagram - backhoe bucket
  • 072 homemade toys 3 rocker slide photo1, playing
  • 072 homemade toys 3 rocker slide diagram
  • 072 homemade toys 3 rocker slide photo2, reading
  • 072 homemade toy - diagram - rocker's sides

If you've often thought you could make playthings as good or better as what retailers have to offer, here are three homemade toy ideas to get you started.

A Wooden Soldier

What's the holiday season without a wooden soldier or two to join the festivities? To make this pint-sized fusilier, you'll need a scrap of wood that measures 1 3/4" X 2" X 7 1/2", a second odd piece about 1/2" X 3" square, and a 2 1/4"-long section of broomstick or dowel.

Cut or sand the corners from the "body" block, round one end of the billet, and remove a slot to simulate a pair of legs. The guardsman's arms are made by cutting the dowel lengthwise down its center, then sanding and beveling the two resulting pieces. To make the base, simply trim a 3" square of wood to form a circle, and smooth off its top edge.

Now, paint all the parts, tack the arms in place, and glue the figure to its stand. If you wish, you can also whip together a simple guardhouse using a 10" X 20" piece of stiff cardboard, which you can color as you see fit. 



Click here to download the toy-parts template. 

Click here to download the soldier construction details.






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