Homemade Toys

These old-fashioned homemade toys will delight your kids and provide hours of amusement.

| November/December 1974

  • 030 homemade toys - hummer disk
    Have fun with this easy to make hummer button.  
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • 030 homemade toys - sailboat
    This toy sailboat will keep your child busy for hours.
    ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • sailboat
    A pine board, dowels, an old cotton sheet and some bolts and washers are all that is necessary to construct this toy sailboat.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • clatter
    Surprise your kids with this easy to make clatter blocks toy.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • hummer button
    String, buttons and wooden dowels are all it takes to make the hummer button hum.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • whittle
    Use your jackknife to make this "whammydoodle" toy.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • parachute
    This parachute, like all the rest of these toys, is made from recycled materials. You could assemble the bob shown, or use an ordinary hex-nut.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • spool racer
    Have fun with these wooden spool racers.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • spinning top
    See how long you can keep this spinning top going.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 030 homemade toys - hummer disk
  • 030 homemade toys - sailboat
  • sailboat
  • clatter
  • hummer button
  • whittle
  • parachute
  • spool racer
  • spinning top

Just in time for the holidays, here are an assortment of homemade toys the handyman or -woman can assemble from materials either readily at hand or easily obtained.


Hummer Button

Anyone can make and enjoy this simple, inexpensive, down-home toy. The only things needed are string and large buttons. But, a fancier version can 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 and the "button" spins and hums.

Cornstalk Fiddle

For some easy ole-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.

Whittle a Whammydiddle

Here's a mountain toy that any kid old enough to manage a jackknife can muster up in a few minutes. The only store-bought item necessary is a small 1/2-inch nail or sturdy pin. That's it! Find a couple a 1/4 to 3/8-inch caliper hardwood twig. Cut them into 8"- to 10" lengths. Cut evenly-spaced notches in one end of one stick. Whittle about 4-inches of bark off the other. Now find a 2-inch piece of hardwood. Push your nail or pin through the middle of it, then attach that to the end of your notched stick like a propeller. Move the whittled stick rapidly across the "washboard" notches and watch the little fella spin!



Toy Sailboat

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 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.

MC_2
12/7/2008 6:35:27 PM

I think I roughly know what to do-- it's not exactly complicated-- but I would like to look at some different ideas for making corn-cob dolls. We have about half a dozen cobs in good condition and I thought it would be a fun project to do with my daughter now that the weather's keeping us indoors so much of the time.


deanmackey_1
12/3/2008 2:45:06 PM

nice assortment of toys...but what about paper airplanes? my site here has over 800 FREE paper airplanes! http://www.theonlinepaperairplanemuseum.com grab some paper and check it out! dean :)







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