Children have been playing with wooden toys for centuries. If you are intimidated by the selection of electronic toys at today's toy stores or just want to give your children or grandchildren something more memorable to play with, you might consider making wooden toys. These toys are not hard to make and the plans can be adapted to fit the needs and personalities of individual children.
Lay the two 15 inch pieces of wood side by side to make sure they are exactly the same length. If one is shorter than the other, sand the long one until the length matches.
Use your ruler to find the exact centre for the two 15-inch pieces of wood. Mark the two centres. Drill a hole through the centres, using the marks as a guide. The hole should be wide enough for your screw to pass through.
On each piece, measure and mark spots 3-and-1/2-inches to the left of the centre. Drill a narrow hole through these spots. Measure 1-and-1/2-inch to the left of the new hole and drill a narrow hole here as well.
Put the 4-and-1/4-inches piece of wood across the two pieces you have been working with so that it covers the centre holes. Mark and drill the spots where this block covers the centre holes.
Screw these three pieces of wood together so that they make a letter "H." They should be screwed tightly enough so that the "H" won't come apart, but the individual pieces should still be able to move.
Drill holes in the action figure's elbows and hands.
Thread one string through the lower hole of the right hand stick. Tie a knot in the other end of the string so it can't come out of the hole. Thread the string through both hands of the action figure and the lower hole of the left hand stick. Tie a knot so the string can't fall out of the hole.
Thread the other string through the upper hole of the right hand stick and tie a knot. Thread the string through the action figure's elbows and the upper hole of the left hand stick. Tie a knot to keep the string in place.
Give the toy to a child. Show the child how to make the acrobat do tricks by squeezing the bottoms of the sticks towards each other.
Find a pattern or a plan online for a wooden tortoise puzzle. You can get free plans at Shopsmithhandson.com.
Print out the plan. Enlarge it on a copy machine so that it is large enough to cover your wood.
Put rubber cement on the back of the enlarged drawing and the top of your wood. Allow it to dry for about five minutes before attaching the drawing to the wood.
Follow the outline of the puzzle pattern with a band saw to cut the wood into the shape of the puzzle. You should have a wooden tortoise when you are finished. Use a saw with a thin blade to cut out each puzzle piece.
Peel off the paper. Give the puzzle to a child to put together.
Cut the 2-by-2-inch board into two 8-inch pieces.
Cut each of the dowels so that they are each exactly 10-inches long. Measure the dowels against each other to make sure they are the same length. If some of the dowels are too long, sand them to make them shorter.
Measure and mark 1-inch, 3-inches, 5-inches, and 7-inches on the two 2-by-2-inch pieces. Drill holes 1/2-inch deep at each of these spots.
Take one of the 2-by-2-inch pieces of wood and put drops of glue into the holes. Insert the dowels into these holes, using the other 2-by-2-inch piece of wood to tap them into place, if needed. String the beads on the dowels, putting 10 of one colour on each dowel.
Put glue in the holes on the other 2-by-2-inch piece of wood and attach it to the rest of the toy, using another piece of wood to tap the dowels in place, if needed.