Addressed to adults but not beyond experienced young crafty sorts, this gathering of projects offers 75 radically simplified animals, human figures, trees, vehicles, and backdrops—all made from one or just a few pieces of sawn wood finished and decorated in child-friendly ways. After an introduction extolling the Waldorf style of schooling and “open-ended” toys, the author begins with basic advice for selecting and using woods, tools, safe paints, natural dyes, and polishes. She then lays out finishing and ongoing care instructions, and goes on to present projects in five settings, from “Fairytale” (castle, dragon, unicorn, knight, magic wands) to “City” (trees, multipart skyline, train, helicopter). Though occasionally she offers additional procedures or directions, most are so simple that a list of materials, a close-up photo of the finished item, and a template made to be copied, cut out, and traced are all the guidance given or, for that matter, necessary. Children in elementary grades will enjoy helping to decorate these sturdy homemade toys, and members of the diapered set will delight in playing with them. Grades 6-9. --John Peters
Concerned with the safety of commercially produced toys, Freuchtel-Dearing purchased a secondhand scroll saw and began making?and then selling?her own natural wood toys. In this guide, she shares techniques, tips, and patterns for making a variety of safe, eco-friendly toys well suited for creative play. The projects are organized thematically (farm, fairy tale, ocean, cityscape, and forest), and the author provides a useful introduction to woodworking techniques. Most of the toys are simple and require little to no woodworking experience. An enjoyable guide to making toys to please children under eight.
In a time of rushing about, many parents are looking toward natural wooden toys for their children, free of toxic chemicals, flashing lights, and obnoxious sounds. Studies have shown that simple toys encourage more creative play from children, making simple wooden toys or handmade cloth desirable. For many, the cost of lovely wooden toys is prohibitive and making the toys is a daunting idea for individuals without any wood working experience. In her book Natural Wooden Toys: 75 Easy-to-Make and Kid-Safe Designs to Inspire Imaginations & Creative Play, Erin Freuchtel-Dearing has broken down the process of making your own wooden toys, from tool selection to natural dyes and sealing. With full color illustrations and numerous patterns which can be copied and used, the book is a great resource for non-wood workers who would like to make simple wooden toys for children. Waldorf education and philosophy are mentioned briefly toward the beginning of the book but the designs and information are applicable to anyone with a desire to make natural toys.
includes plans for over 75 toys in themes ranging from fairytale to forest and farm to city. Developed by author Erin Freutchel-Dearing for her own children, the toys are constructed with basic tools like a scroll saw, palm sander and drill. Finishing advice is also included.
This is a really fun book that you will love. Seventy-five great toys ready to be made for you or for someone else's kids. The toys are real simple to make with a scroll saw or even a fret saw and are finished with natural colors. Paprika will provide a beautiful orange shade, blueberries a flavorful purple. Specialty artist shops can provide you with brilliant non-toxic finishes as well. The toys are very basic but just as enjoyable for toddlers as those high tech toys to play with. And, full patterns are provided by the author; she provides recipes for the colors as well.