Handmade toys are an incredible gift for a child. Not only do handmade toys encourage the imagination, but they also give you a huge creative outlet. Kids love toys. If you are interested in making them yourself, they can become lifelong treasures that you will never throw away. If you really want to feel appreciated as a woodworker, make something for a child. They always appreciate it.

Handmade Toys and Imagination

handmade toysHandmade toys encourage children to use their minds. A wooden toy makes them imagine, and create their own sounds and motions. These things are lost with modern toys, because all the sounds and lights distract children from using their imagination.

With all of the modern toys that my son has, he still has a great time with his wooden toys. In fact, he plays with them more than the others.

He has to imagine what they are for, because he is still fairly young. I made him a wooden hand plane that he still thinks is a small car. However, even though he does not know what the toy really is, to him it’s the best little car in his collection.

For me, it’s a way to connect with my son through play. It’s also a way that I share my love of woodworking with him at such a young age. It will be several years before he is out in the shop with me, so for now I make lots of handmade toys for him.

A Handmade Toy Car

handmade toysThere is such an amazing feeling that you get when you give a handmade toy to a child. You are almost giving a part of yourself to them, because your sweat and effort went into making the toy.

When you make something for someone you love, people from across the room can see it in the work. There is much more value in a personally crafted wooden toy than anything you could buy in the store.

You traded your time for the toy, not your money. Anyone can trade money for things. The real secret to an amazing gift is to make it with your time and skill.

This wooden flippy car came from a time when I watched my son play with another toy car. It kept falling over, and he was trying to push it along the ground upside down. I designed a small wooden car that had a smaller body than wheels. This design never stops running, even upside down. Now, my son does not get frustrated when his car flips over, because it still rolls.

Making Baby Blocks From Scraps

handmade toysEven simple things can me made and given to a child with great results. You do not have to be a master woodworker to make something nice.

I made a set of over-sized wooden blocks for my son using the scraps from a giant baby gate I made to keep him off the hard tile in the kitchen. The larger blocks made it easier for him to stack them, and more of a show when he knocked them down.

Almost anyone with a saw can make a set of baby blocks like this. My son was overjoyed when I came in from the shop with a huge pile of blocks for him. (I really over-bought the wood for that baby gate.) He loved playing with them, and he still does today. Even this basic project made a huge impact, and if you make a set, they will do the same thing.

The Tool Set That Launched a Book

handmade toys

My biggest kid project to date has been a set of wooden toy tools. These homemade toys are all small replicas of tools from my shop.

I had to make several adjustments to the actual designs and remove the sharp edges and points, but they still came out looking like actual tools.

After making a few of these, I decided to make a whole set for him. I also made a farm style tool box to hold them all. He is still a little small to pick up the tool box, but it makes a great storage location. He uses most of the handmade tools as hammers or cars, but I don’t care at all. I traded my time to make something beautiful for my son, and I know he appreciates it by the look on his face.

My Handmade Toy Tools Book

wooden tools for kidsWooden Tools For Kids

is a woodworking book that teaches you how to make handmade toys in your shop. I focus on making a toy tool set, which includes over 20 tools and a nice tool box to hold them all.

I have been a woodworker for close to two decades now, and in that time I have made everything from guitars to tobacco pipes, and wooden rings to magic props. When my son was born, I already had this little set in mind for him.

This book covers each tool one at a time, and has step by step instructions. You do need to have a few common woodworking tools, but you can make substitutions for what you actually have in your shop.

This is a great project for anyone with a child or a grandchild. Handmade toys encourage the imagination, and if you make this set, you will have a family heirloom that you can pass down for generations. These are not the kinds of toys that end up in a yard sale. These are the types of pieces that you keep long after your child has grown and left.

I hope you enjoyed the story of why I enjoy making wooden toys. I love making toys, and they are so much more than just a toy when you are done.

If you have any questions on Handmade Toys and Woodworking, please leave a comment and I will be glad to answer them. Also, please share my work with your friends on Pinterest! Happy building.