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Wooden Toys

with input from Sarah Matthews

If we're old enough, we will recall that Christmas and birthdays were not as they are today.
Very occasionally you may get 'the biggie present' like a bike, but I remember Christmas mornings and opening up no more than 5 presents maximum.
Nowadays anything under £200 is seen as an insult by the youngsters!

I took this further to my son. When he was about 8, I wasn't exactly overflowing with cash. I brought him about 5 toy aeroplanes, then spent about three days up in the Shed building an Aircraft Carrier out of bits of left over wood.
Some 10 or so years later, it is safely tucked away upstairs, by him, to hand on to his kids.
He spent hours playing with it and I know that when I'm not around, my handywork will be putting itself to good use.

Here's a similar tale from Sarah Matthews......

My father has always spent his time making something. My mother would always say that dad was tinkering in the garage. Once he was retired he started working with wood.

At first he made larger pieces of wood furniture. The pieces were very nice and well made, however as Dad got older he did not like having to hand the large pieces. He had many small pieces of wood scrapes left. He started making wood toys out of the scrapes. The first item he made was a wooden duck that had wheels. He placed a length of narrow colorful nylon rope around the duck’s neck so that the duck could be pulled by the child playing with it. Dad made several of the ducks, but then he wanted to try something else.

My sister and I bought our dad some wood working tools as well as carving knifes for his birthday. Our other sister gave him a gift certificate to a local hobby shop. He was pleased with the gifts and said that maybe he could find patterns for different wood toys. My Dad’s birthday is in
March. That Christmas we were all amazed at the wood toys that he gave our children for gifts. He had learned to do a variety of shapes and also did some wonderful carving and wood burning on the wood toys. With the wood burner he put each child’s initials on their toy. There were pull toys, trains and animals. Dad and Mom stated that they were going to start making additional wood toys together and try to sell them at various craft sales.

They started doing this three years ago. This has been a great retirement adventure for them. They spend time making, painting and finishing the wood toys and then they travel to different areas in the region selling them. They sell them at arts and craft sales that are held in different towns. They spend two months of the winter in their recreational vehicle in warmer climates selling their things at flea markets. They are making some supplemental income and they are enjoying meeting new people and seeing other areas of the country. We are so glad that they have found something that they enjoy doing that gets them out and about with other people. So many people that retire seem to get very set in their ways and do not like to vary from their routines. Mum and Dad are enjoying their retirement years and they are bringing joy to children with their simple wood toys.

The Wooden Toy - a fine site indeed for ideas    Toys and Joys - How far do you want to take it!

Learning to craft wood can lead to a Cottage Idustry