Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations
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Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  49 ratings  ·  18 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Roost Books
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Shala Kerrigan
Made by Joel is one of my favorite style and d.i.y. blogs. So naturally, I had high expectations for his book of toys for kids. Made to Play met those expectations easily.

The projects are easy to make and are simple and elegant, giving lots of room for imagination to play. They are also inexpensive and many of them creatively re-use scraps of wood, fabric and buttons.

Most of the projects are meant for kids who are beyond the stage of putting everything in their mouths, but some can be used for b...more
Mandy
If you are one of the many parents enthralled by simple handmade toys but are intimidated at the prospect of making them yourself, never fear! Joel Henriques will help get you started with the ideas in his new book coming out next October, Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations.

Contrary to what companies may have you believe, children don't need, nor truly want, lots of flashy toys which play by themselves (where is the fun in that, anyway?). Instead, simple toys which...more
Nikki
I’m not one of those moms who can create awesome crafts out of random household objects without a ton of assistance, and even with loads of help and super-easy directions, they still come out looking like something from a Tim Burton film. Yet I persevere in my attempts to rule the crafting universe, to whittle wood into marching soldiers, to build skyscrapers out of toothpicks, to…wait, I’m thinking of Navy Seabees here… I just want to make something that doesn’t fall apart in five minutes or lo...more
Sharon Tyler
Made to Play! Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations by Joel Henriques is a collection of thirty-five crafts from a father that has tried and tested everything detailed within with his own children. Imaginative and open-ended play with home made toys, built manly from recycled or purposed material. The projects are great for the crafty to take and make their own, and for the easily intimidated to follow instructions, use provided templates and create great toys for their children. I a...more
Candace
I love the simplicity of this book and the projects that it contains. I love the fact that they are made with things that I have around the house or things that I can go buy cheaply from the store. I also love that some of the toys are bring along toys that fit in altoid tins to keep the kids busy and entertained at the doctor's office or in the cart at the grocery store.

Some of my favorite projects are the slotted building disks (my 12 year old will be getting these), Small wooden animals (thes...more
Rachel
I discovered Joel's blog a while ago and loved his simplistic yet original style of toys and activities for his young children. I bought three copies of the book when it came out as Christmas gifts. On Boxing Day, my sister-in-law made the zoo animals with my 3 year old and they were much loved (until my 1 year old ripped them apart.. oops). I like that you can pick up this book, grab some paper, pens and scissors and do one of the projects. You don't have to go spend a fortune to make any of th...more
AnandaTashie
Lots of playful, imaginative toys and crafts to make for / with kids using cloth, wood, wire, and paper. There are full color photos, plus templates and illustrated instructions. I'm out of my element with woodcrafting, but some of the others are really fantastic for me. I'm going to try: zoo blanket; wooden spool birds; wire doll chairs; slotted building discs; rubber band race cars; dress-up drawings.
Lupine
Lots of really cool DIY ideas for creating toys with stuff you have on hand that promote creative thinking. Some of the projects require serious tools (i.e. saws) but others are more simple. Can be a good jumping off point for seeing what else you can make. I can see making some of these things for presents for the kids I know.
Kelli
not a bad book, actually quite good but I was disappointed that it didn't have a lot of the things he has on his website. I borrowed it from the library before buying and I am glad as I don't think I will buy it. His website is fabulous and has a lot of more user friendly ideas IMO
Samantha
From the creator of madebyjoel.com. Great ideas for handmade toys and crafts. Drawings and photos accompany every activity. I can't wait to try some of these ideas out (especially the bottle cap tamborine!) This guy is so creative and I'm glad he's sharing his genius with the rest of us!
Laura
My favorite projects in this book were the ones made from wood and we don't have a skill saw. So until we get one (which he says are fairly easy to find used and therefore, fairly inexpensive), I probably won't be making anything from this. I especially would like to make the dollhouse!
Brandy
This great little book offers lots of ideas ideas for simple and easy-to-make toys and things for children. The materials needed are explained well, and the directions are very simple. This is great for me as a busy mom who sometimes needs ideas to help her out!
Kristina
A very cute, creative book that B and I enjoyed looking at together. It was surprising what he wanted to make (I wouldn't have picked those projects for him) and what I wanted to make.
Elizabeth
Meh.

I only liked a couple of the projects in this book: the dress-up drawings (great use for scraps of fabric, buttons, and other notions), and the shadow box theater.

Lisaana
Wonderful book. Really inspired creativity during a family visit, gave us old-fogey adults a chance to make toys with our young-un. Some of us fogeys hoarded the toys!
Kate
Good ideas in here, but the hipster overlay to everything was just too much for me to stomach. MODERN dollhouse furniture??!?! Gag me with a spoon!!
Abraham Ray
great read about kid toys you can make yourself!
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