How to Make a Climbing Bear Toy

You can learn how to make a climbing bear toy to give as a gift to a little one, includes instructions and list of supplies needed for making this toy.

| November/December 1977

Learn how to make a climbing bear toy using these simple instructions.

How to Make a Climbing Bear Toy

Here's an old-time folk toy that MOTHER-staffer Emerson Smyers has made for his children and grandchildren . . . and which you can whip up in a jiffy for any of the "little people" on your Christmas list.

Everyone who makes one of these climbing bears (or — depending on your taste — monkeys, cats, dogs, squirrels, or people) seems to make 'em a different way, so don't get yourself too stove up trying to exactly duplicate the toy you see here. As long as you do the one critical thing right (drill the holes through the bear's paws at the proper angle), almost any size and shape animal cut from almost any thickness of shop scrap will work.

A SINGLE CAUTION: If you construct one of these climbin' critters for a very little person (only, say, two or three years old) . . . make it small and from a lighter piece of wood. That way, it won't hurt if it hits the tyke in the head when he or she lets the toy drop from the top of its climb back down to the bottom.

OK. With that precaution out of the way, you're ready to doodle up a bear or monkey or whatever on a sheet of paper and transfer it to a scrap of leftover board down in the shop (anything from 3/8 inch to 3/4 inch thick seems to work fine). Draw the animal from, say, three inches to six inches tall-depending on the size of the child you intend to give it to-and saw it out.

Now comes the one critical part: The holes through the bear's paws must be drilled at approximately a 45 degree angle (the closer to 45 degrees, the better) . . . and not "straight up and down", the way some folks try to drill them.

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