The holidays are just around the corner, and no matter your level of expertise with woodworking, now is a great time to garner some more experience and bring some holiday cheer in the process. There are many toys that can be woodworked for children. Here are several ideas to get you started, but you’re only limited by your imagination!
Consider making and giving a handmade, classic board game, like checkers or chess. Checkers and chess pieces can be woodworked or, for convenience’s sake, purchased as ready-made from a wood products company. Consider customizing wood spindles for use as chess pieces. The checkers and chess boards, too, can be woodworked using a thin, semi-pliable piece of wood. With a little paint, you can replicate the classic checker or chess board or you can put your own personal, creative twists on these classic board games by using your own design. Strategically placed, candid snapshots of the recipient or perhaps even a new pattern altogether is sure to be a conversation starter.
Classic building blocks, much like Lincoln Logs, are also a great way to engage a child’s imagination and creativity. With various sizes and shapes, simple pieces of wood can become a house, ship, tractor, airplane, or train.
The classic wooden car or train can also be woodworked as a gift consideration. Simply select a sturdy wood, design the car or train model of your or the child‘s choice, apply wheels, which are available for purchase at a wood products company, and paint or finish.
Wooden puzzles can be great fun for preschoolers. This is because wooden puzzle pieces can be cut relatively largely. With the addition of a wooden knob at the center, the pieces also become easy for small hands to manipulate. Not only is the imagination at work, but so is valuable hand-eye coordination. This makes wooden puzzles not only enjoyable to the child, but also quite effective in promoting cognitive development.
With some plastic, paper, or cloth as the cover, string as the flying line, and a sturdy wood dowel as the spine, you can also make a kite quite easily. Consider customizing the cover with the child’s favorite cartoon character, color, or design. What a great way to keep a child both entertained and active on blustery days!
Consider a simple, handmade version of another classic game, Ring Toss. Find a quality piece of wood to make a weighted, X-shaped base, and use a hardwood dowel for the end pieces needed to catch the rings.
So many toy woodworking projects are available. Research some of them online, in woodworking magazines, or through books at your local library for even more ideas. Or, get creative and design your own. How rewarding it would be to see your creativity and imagination bring a smile to a child’s face this holiday season!
About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.