DIY Homemade Toys: Walk the Ball

This walk the ball contraption is one of many homemade toys outlined in this book.

January 16, 2014

By Jim Makowicki

Homemade toys can become cherished family heirlooms as future generations enjoy your simple endeavors. Making Heirloom Toys (The Taunton Press, 1996) offers 22 simple projects that are sure to please children and creators alike. Author Jim Makowicki supplies simple instructions and clear diagrams to aid the process. This excerpt, labeled “Project 7” is an ingenious walk the ball toy.

Making Heirloom Toys

The object of this game is to walk the Ping-Pong ball across the cradle and back without the ball falling off. It sounds simple, but you’ll find it takes patience, coordination and lots of practice to master the game. You move the ball by raising or lowering one or more of the sixteen 1/2 inch diameter dowels, coaxing the ball carefully from one dowel to the next. Many people have commented that the game looks like a Viking ship, particularly with the light birch dowels (the “oars”) contrasted against the rich, dark walnut cradle. So when you’re done playing, this homemade toy makes a great coffee-table or desktop conversation piece.