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Make These Toys: 101 Clever Creations Using Everyday Items Paperback – July 6, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Heather Swain lives with the loves of her life -- her husband, her new daughter, and her dog -- in a crooked house in Brooklyn, New York. Her fiction, nonfiction, and personal essays have appeared in books, magazines, literary journals, and online. "Luscious Lemon" is her second novel. Her first, "Eliot's Banana, " is also available from Downtown Press.
You can visit Heather anytime at HeatherSwain.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; 1 edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399535918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399535918
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,345,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you've ever wondered how you might make time with your grandchildren more interesting, meaningful, and fun, pick up a copy of this book. The materials you need to help your grandchildren create a treasure to take home from their visit with you are likely already in your kitchen and desk drawers, and if not, they are easily obtainable and inexpensive to purchase. Do yourself a favor and use this resource to make a memory and help cement the ties that bind your relationship to your grandchildren. Some day, the little wine-cork deer they made at your house just might go with them to college to help remind them of where they came from, and the people who have been important in their lives.
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I became acquainted with Heather Swain's work before she became a mother, when she was dealing with the pain of two miscarriages. The novel she wrote drawing on those experiences, Luscious Lemon, was so skillfully written, I've kept my eyes out for her work ever since. When I learned of Make These Toys, I bought a copy for my god children. Their mother is always looking for ideas and I know will make good use of the book. I'm going to buy several copies and have them ready to give as baby shower gifts for my other friends in the future.

Make These Toys is not only full of great creative ideas, it is written in a fun, engaging style.
I love her prose and also appreciate the historical fun facts, e.g., on the history of ballooons.

Just as some people enjoy reading cookbooks even when they have no immediate plans to cook, this book is fun to read even if you don't have young children readily available. Furthermore, I don't think the ideas in this book are strictly for little ones. Next time my 19 year old has friends over, I'm going to show them how to make mini-marshmellow poppers!
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Format: Paperback
Ever been desperate for something to do on a rainy day? I have two kids and this book has saved my sanity. Now I don't have to dread snow days anymore - I can pull out this book and the kids will be happily creating for the next few hours. And ALL of the projects are with stuff you really do have around the house - [which again, makes it perfect for a snow day ...]. Save yourself - buy this book!
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Format: Paperback
I was given this book as a gift and it sat on a shelf untouched for several weeks because I'm not one of those craft-crazy moms. However, during a play date where I saw 3 seven-year olds start fighting over a DS toy, I grabbed the book and in less than 3 minutes had all the kids focused on making mini-marshmallow poppers out of items I had around the house. They made their own toys and then played happily for the next hour making up various ways to use the poppers. The next day we made them again with the neighbor kids and then the next day after that another friend came over and my son immediately asked if we could make more toys. I highly recommend this book for those parents out there who are not as clever (like me!) as this author with simple household items. Another benefit is that I have started to recycle more stuff I used to throw out automatically. I now have a special bag where I deposit stuff like the rolls from used paper towels and rubber bands that the kids can go to when they want to make toys. This book also made me feel better about getting rid of about ten boxes of toys we had accumulated over the years that were clogging up our home. Having one bag of recycled household items to make into toys feels a lot better (and takes up much less space) than all those unused toys. When the homemade toys get used up (usually after hours of play) they go straight into the garbage. Less clutter all the way around!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Very clever use of everyday objects and materials. Its these kinds of activities that will spark your children's imagination and creativity. A great way to spend quality time with your kids.
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Simplicity is the key to finding what kids really enjoy playing with, and this book has been great fun in helping me do this. It is a great buy for those " ultimate recyclers" who like to use items for multiple purposes.
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Format: Paperback
I really think this book is wonderful. Half way through and riveted. Can't wait to make everything with my kids, and I can see it's a book that keeps on giving since some of the toys will be perfect for when they're older. Absolutely love what values this book will teach my children: creativity, recycling, and really using their imagination.
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Most of the items you need you already have around the house. It teaches children how to love "simple" toys again!
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