Handmade Wooden Toys

Two Girls

Ian and I made some wooden toys for Asher for his birthday. We learned a lot last December when we made his wooden dragon, knight, and horse, and his rainbow gnomes—not the least of which is that sanding wooden toys takes forever. We wanted to practice these new toy-making skills some more, so we made Asher two girls, an older boy, a pig, a goose, and a gnome cave. We ran out of time and didn’t finish goose woman and the other older boy we cut out. But they’ll be along someday.

Older Boy, Goose, and Pig

I drew these figures after looking at some old illustrations by Blanche Fisher Wright that were recently republished in a Barnes and Noble collection of Mother Goose nursery rhymes. I liked their simplicity and their old-fashioned clothing (kerchiefs and knickers and so on). Ian did a marvelous job with the scroll saw, which is the part that scares me not a little.

Gnome Cave and Gnomes

The gnomes in this photo were made last month, but the stacking cave pieces are new. They can be fitted together or separated out to form a gnome scene.

Now, the truth is, I don’t know if Asher will ever play with these items. Often plastic gifts grab a child’s attention quicker, and Asher got some of those for his birthday. For the most part, he prefers to play pretend and transform himself into someone new, whether human or animal. He doesn’t often sit and play with items the way they are intended by adults to be played with. A screwdriver toy becomes a sword, or a pen, or a magic wand. A firefighter’s helmet becomes a bowl or an astronaut’s gear. A stethoscope becomes a communication device or an air tube.

I will just sit back and see what he does with these wooden toys, just as I do with everything else, and be proud that we made them from scratch. They will be for him whatever he needs or wants them to be. And if nothing else, and if I’m very lucky, maybe someday I’ll see them in the hands of my grandchild.

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2 Responses to “Handmade Wooden Toys”

  • Sadie
    February 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    What a wonderful and creative idea! Wooden toys are made to last and they are great quality! I hope your children play with them. And if they don’t now, I bet at some point they will 🙂


  • Sara
    February 11, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Thanks, Sadie! I hope they will. I did catch them yesterday playing a bit with the basket full of knitted, needle-felted, and woodent toys we’ve made, along with some conventional stuffed animals. That was a thrill!


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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

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    "Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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