With respect, I beg, implore, request, and desire your help. My 3 year old
cousin Kyla is in the hospital undergoing chemo. I'd like to make her some
toys to distract her from the pain and suffering she is going through. Any
links providing free plans or inspiration would be greatly appreciated (and
please don't be a goober and tell me to do a google search, I've already
done that). You're a great bunch of folks and I know you can help.
If you have access to a lathe, you can glue contrasting scraps of
exotic woods together to form a blank, then turn into tops, balls,
small bowels, baseball bat shaped pieces, etc, etc.
The variations in colors can be quite attractive.
Some plans -
A page of links for inspiration:
Check out Google and there is literally more than you can look at.
Good luck with your cousin. I'll remember her in my even talk with
The Big Guy.
What is your skill level and what tools do you have avaible? I am doing a
class on toy making for grades 1 through 6 and would be glade to send you
toys on that level. Check out my web site sweetsawdust.com and if you see
anything thier that will work for you I will send plans or information if
you need it.
I've never found anything I couldn't make given the tools I have. I've got
a table saw, a band saw, drill press, belt sander, chisels, planes, etc.
hand tools. Not enough clamps. A brad nailer, a couple of electric hand
sanders, and a neighbor who doesn't yet know he will be helping. Plus I've
got a lot of pine (2X4, 2X6, 2X12, 1X4, etc). No lathe (yet).
One that is fairly simple but possibly interesting would be the jigsaw
puzzle in the frame -- for the age a few large brightly painted pieces.
'Tis a bummer of a situation, for sure--altho often the kids teach us
much. Best of luck...
What are her interests? - Example: At 2 1/2 or so, one of our
granddaughters was fascinated with backhoes (construction was in
progress at the day care center). Construction toys aren't usually
seen as "girl" toys, but she was very happy to get a Fisher-Price
backhoe as a gift. She also liked the Lincoln Logs we gave her a year
later. We do the "girly" things as well - a princess doll for her
birthday last month.
Simple manipulatives are nearly always good - blocks, puzzles, etc.
Does she have a favorite character (book, movie, TV)? Something
related to the character is good.
Does she like to play games - and will there be anyone to play with
her? Lots of card and board game ideas are out there. A set of
"matching" cards with pictures of family, friends, pets might be good
(think Concentration or Old Maid).
Look for things that are powered by imagination ;-)
While not a toy a 3 year old can play with, in the right hands, with
the right voice and the right stories something like this might
bring a smile.
Kyla will be in my thoughts, as will you.
Take a look through the Google archives for Tom Gauldin's "Bill Dings",
hopefully there is a link to the plans or someone here has archived them.
They would be good manipulative toys for stacking and general play, either
in or out of bed which might be a big plus for this situation.
Your cousin is in our thoughts and prayers.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Or google on "tangram"
Easy to make, and there's hundreds of shapes that can be found on the net.
Thanks to everyone that made suggestions. Your kind thoughts and prayers
are apperciated. Sucks that such a kind and gentle young girl so full of
life has to go through this, while other deserving of pain escape without
It just occured to me that the *first* project I should probably make is a
toy box to put the follow-up projects in. I'd like to claim I have a bunch
of scrap wood to use, but in fact it's actually wood from projects I never
got started on.
It has been pointed out many times before in this forum, if you are going to
build a toy box, include two things in its design.
1) Air holes, you don't want a little one going into the toy box and
2) Some kind of lid dampening system. You don't want the lid to slam down on
sensitve little body parts. These are available from many woodworking
Thanks for the reminder, Lee. I think I'll use "shaped" holes for
handles ("pickle" or "kidney" shaped holes, rounded over). There are
many lid closers to choose from. I don't know yet if the lid will be
built-up from edge-glued boards or a piece of plywood.
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