Ladybird Tuesday: Toys and Games to Make

I thought that I remembered this book from my childhood, but, it looks like I bought this one in a charity shop.  So, I can only assume that Blue Peter must have pinched a lot of the ideas or something because I'm sure I remember making many of them.

Toys and Games to Make

"Here is another Ladybird book which will keep children happily occupied for many hours.  All materies needed are simple inexpensive and readily available"

Published in 1966 and written by James Webster, with illustrations by Robert Ayton, this is one of Ladybirds' series 633 which includes Things to Make  which being Mrs C reviewed on her Ladybird Tuesday blog post last week.  It also includes the truly 70's classic, Indoor Gardening, which I did have as a child and spent hours trying to get my mother to give me her glass demijohns in order to make bottle gardens.

Each double spread has instructions and a picture describing a toy or game that can be made at home.   I have to show you this picture, not because what is being made is particularly clever, but, because this is what I looked like in the 70's!

The ideas themselves are simple and well explained, and with a little adaptation would still keep a child interested and occupied.  The "readily available items" needed to create the toys are probably not quite so readily available in the modern home. The most obvious of these is the vast quantity of cotton reels needed.  I guess this was an era when mothers were still making their own and their children's clothes.

There are also knitting needles, matches and corks regularly required.  The Cargo Boat on P32 includes "A cigarette-packet - preferably the "flip-top" kind", match-box, matches and corks.  Well I guess, where the corks are concerned things haven't changed so much!

There is a safety disclaimer at the front of the book reminding parents to use spent not live matches and never to suspend the foil snake (made on p14) over "any electrical heater or any other naked flame apart from a night light", but the picture shows it spinning madly over a candle.

Don't get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with the use of these materials, or indeed the safety reminder at the front, but I'm pretty sure they would be edited out of any kind of children's craft book published now.  And for no good reason that I can see.

I especially like that a lot of the things made would appeal to boys as well as girls, as there is often an assumption that boys don't like "crafting".  There is definitely a practical, mechanical and educational bent to many of the toys and games and I know that the working tractor and tank would appeal to my son.  Not specifically because they are vehicles (although that would definitely be the hook) but because he likes things that move, and he likes to figure out how they move and why.

So, I intend to make the working tractor and tank just as soon as I have collected enough cotton reels, empty date boxes, cigarette packets, and found a metal skewer and penknife.

For the rest of Mrs Fox's Ladybird Tuesday posts click HERE.


HERE is Mrs C's Ladybird Tuesday post this week, Learning With Mother, Book 2

1 comment

  1. Oh how spooky - Mr B was trying (unsuccessfully) to make that thing with the cotton reel and candle 2 nights ago! The pictures all look so familiar, especially the boat - I think I must have had this book or borrowed it from the library as a child.


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