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Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations Paperback – October 11, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The projects in this book will take you back to simpler times. Utilizing common materials around the household to make things—but with a modern touch—the beauty of this book lies in the simple toy and craft projects.”—Living Crafts Magazine

“Henriques has incorporated the experiences of his children’s imaginations at play into the amazing projects throughout this book. Although they may look simplistic to today’s high-tech kids, these projects will create lasting memories more precious than any video games.”—San Francisco Book Review

About the Author

Joel Henriques is fascinated by color, shape, and craftsmanship. He was drawn to painting as a child, inspired by his grandmother, a painter herself. She spent hours showing Joel the paintings of Matisse, Picasso, Miró, and many others. Through these and her own paintings, she taught him ideas about color and design and eventually coached him on his earliest paintings. These childhood experiences lead him to pursue a B.A. in Fine Art and Philosophy. Becoming a parent was, for Joel, another way of looking at art in the world. As a young child himself, he made many of his own toys. As a father, he began making toys for his young twins. He began to see that a beautiful, minimal, well-crafted object allowed his children to use and develop their own imaginations, rather than having an object tell them how they must play with it. Moved by his children's interaction with art, Joel began documenting these crafts on his blog, Made By Joel. Creating art for children, and for the child in everyone, is a powerful thing. Joel lives with his wife and three-year-old twins in Portland, Oregon. See more of his crafts at www.madebyjoel.com, and see more of his art at www.joelhenriques.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Roost Books (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159030912X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590309124
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #803,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joel Henriques is fascinated by color, shape, and craftsmanship. He was drawn to painting as a child, inspired by his grandmother, a painter herself. She spent hours showing Joel the paintings of Matisse, Picasso, Miró, and many others. Through these and her own paintings, she taught him ideas about color and design and eventually coached him on his earliest paintings. These childhood experiences lead him to pursue a B.A. in Fine Art and Philosophy.

Becoming a parent was, for Joel, another way of looking at art in the world. As a young child himself, he made many of his own toys. As a father, he began making toys for his young twins. He began to see that a beautiful, minimal, well-crafted object allowed his children to use and develop their own imaginations, rather than having an object tell them how they must play with it.

Moved by his children's interaction with art, Joel began documenting these crafts on his blog, Made By Joel. Creating art for children, and for the child in everyone, is a powerful thing. Joel lives with his wife and three children in Portland, Oregon. See more of his crafts at www.madebyjoel.com, and see more of his art at www.joelhenriques.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Made by Joel is one of my favorite style and d.i.y. blogs. So naturally, I had high expectations for his book of toys for kids. Made to Play met those expectations easily.

The projects are easy to make and are simple and elegant, giving lots of room for imagination to play. They are also inexpensive and many of them creatively re-use scraps of wood, fabric and buttons.

Most of the projects are meant for kids who are beyond the stage of putting everything in their mouths, but some can be used for babies. The embroidered soft instruments for example or the embroidery pillow doll done in one color sketch style on a contrasting background.

For kids that are a bit older, very simple doll houses invite creative thought. They are meant to be played with, not just to be pretty. Wire dolls, modern furniture, and decorations that can be a wonderful rock found while out adventuring or a twig turned into a pretty potted tree. Even at my age, I want to make myself at least a room box!

Lots of paper toys, many of them that can be packed flat to bring to restaurants and other places you may want something quiet for children to play with. My daughter loved the slotted discs building set. Those impressed me, but my favorite paper project in the book is the wall hanging sculptures. Using children's art along with wire to make displays. A fish dangles from a wire wave, a bird perches on a wire branch turning children's art into something very stylish and special.

Percussion instruments made from scrap wood encourage children to make noise and move. I love the bottle cap tambourine.

The wood toys require very simple tools for the most part. While power saws are handy, you could make a lot of them using coping saws.
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This wonderful book is a must have for teachers, parents, grandparents, or anyone working with children. Joel Henriques, Northwest creator of the book, Made to Play; Handmade Toys & Crafts for Growing Imaginations, gives the reader many suggestions for 35 small, simple-to-make projects. These fabulous products will be a big hit with children. The book includes templates.

He also has a website: madebyjoel.com, where you can see him in action. Online, are also many projects which can be downloaded. Have fun, play!
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I was very impressed with the amount of projects as well as the quality of them. There is something that will appeal to just about every different age and type of child. I love that all the projects use natural items you might find in your home or around your backyard. In a day and age where every child's toy on the market has bells, whistles, noises, pieces that come apart and are all made with plastic, it's wonderful to see a book of toys for children that rejoices in the beauty of nature all around us.

This book is certainly worth purchasing!
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Joel's book is fabulous. I teach 7 & 8 graders art and used ideas from this book and his website for a great unit this past fall. The kids had a blast. As a mom of four boys I wish I'd had this when they were little!
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I got this book to give me ideas for kids crafts. This book is more toys you can make for your kids. There are some that kids can make, but with allot of adult assistance.
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Just what we all need to do -- you don't need to have children to appreciate this book. Just grab your inner child by the hand, find some "stuff" and have fun creating! I plan to use this with my transitional kinders the next few years, but meanwhile, I'm just havin' fun with it all on my own!
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This book is practical and inspiring. And the best part is that my girls love playing with the toys that I've made. Thank you, Joel. Keep up the great work and I hope you come up with another book!
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By Ramona on March 20, 2013
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Joel is actually a craft hero of mine so I was thrilled to get this book and it lived up to all my expectations. His modern doll house is an instant DIY classic. Great gift for new dads too
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