You know, it’s hard growing up in a pretty low-income house; some things others take for granted were delicacies or magnificent riches for me. What was even harder about it is that, like most kids, I was grubby, I didn’t understand the value of hard work, and I wanted toys and a lot of them.
Fortunately, my dad was very hands-on; one afternoon, I was maybe four, my brother six, we went out back, and with just some wood, nails, and not a whole lot of time, my brother and I ended up with toys that I’m pretty sure are still around my house somewhere. I think he made my brother a plane and a robot for me because I loved robots.
The point is, even if you are short on cash or if you want to give your child something that will last a lifetime, a great idea would be to roll up your sleeves, buy some materials, crack open your toolbox and make a wooden toy.
Need any ideas? Sure thing!
Rubber Band Gun
This can be a surprisingly simple endeavor and can be customized or altered for your child’s enjoyment. Just remember to teach safety and responsibility and, obviously, this is a better idea for a somewhat older kid.
A simple way my dad did it was to cut a gun shape out of a solid block of wood, nothing fancy, and then I believe he hot glued or otherwise fastened a clothespin to the top and cut a notch into the front.
This way, you slip one end of the rubber band in the notch, pull it back to the clothespin, clamp it down, and then to “fire” the gun, you simply press on the clothespin. The longer the barrel, the more powerful (and dangerous) the gun can become.
You can also double up the design for a double barrel looking rubber band gun, or, like I tried to do, design it so you can fit several rubber bands in one notch and make a shotgun sort of feature. But you can do so much more!
Okay, so maybe I’m just listing the ones my dad made, but listen, they are crazy simple and you can totally pull them off! The airplane can be a simple two-piece process, and can have your kid beaming from ear to ear.
Like the gun, you start with a solid block of wood, use a sharpie or something similar to mark the shape of the body of the plane, side view, and use a circular saw or whatever you feel more comfortable with to carve it out.
Then, simple draw up a piece for the wings and cut that out too. Fasten the second to the top of the first with a simple screw and electric screwdriver (or find a proper screwdriver set from this guide), and your plane is complete!
Apply your child’s favorite color, and you have something they will love. This kind of provides a bi-plane looking design, which is totally cooler than a 747. If you think you can take on a more difficult design, have at it here.
With your imagination, your kid’s taste, and your very hands, you can make just about anything you can put your mind to.
Say goodbye to Black Friday sales and overpriced toys, and say hello to quality, and hello to a gift that really means something and a toy that will last for generations to come.
Author BIO: I’m Paul from Woodwork Boss – woodworking is one of my true passions, and I love to share this passion with other interested people on my website. At woodworkboss.com, you’ll find woodworking tips, free project plans, buying guides, and inspirational posts that will hopefully help you out in your own DIY/woodworking ventures.