During this time of year when parents and grandparents are looking for the best toys to give this holiday season, we are reminded that the best toysare simple and have been adored since children began playing. The best toys inspire imagination and are handmade toys.
Joel Henriques, a crafty dad, has assembled a book of easy projects any parent can make with their children. Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations includes simple to follow directions, photographs of finished products, and diagrams.
Delight young children and encourage play through unique handmade toys. From sewn and stuffed musical instruments to interlocking paper building blocks and wooden animal figurines, the projects in this book are meant to encourage open-ended play. Organized by kid-loving subjects, the toys here follow the themes of Zoo; House; Blocks, Cars & Trucks; Dress-Up; Music; and Art. Overall, the projects here are meant to stimulate imagination, build confidence through success and enjoyment, and enhance the bond between family and friends through the creation of unique, artistic handmade toys and crafts.
The thirty-five projects in this book include a variety of crafts, from drawing to sewing and light woodworking. The toys presented here are made out of wonderfully tactile materials—repurposed fabrics, wood, and paper—and invite opportunities for creative and imaginative play. Every project is easy to complete, made with accessible materials, and requires little time to make. The projects are simple enough that endless variation can come from the making of each, leaving enough room for you to make the item to suit your own personal interests.
Books like Joel’s are very inspiring. When I make things with my children, I feel like a good, green parent.
Joel has even more projects on his website! I can’t wait to make a bottle cap tambourine!
Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.