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 Art. Overall, the projects here are meant to stimulate imagination, build confidence through success and enjoyment, and enhance the bond between family and friends through the creation of unique, artistic handmade toys and crafts.
The thirty-five projects in this book include a variety of crafts, from drawing to sewing and light woodworking. The toys presented here are made out of wonderfully tactile materials—repurposed fabrics, wood, and paper—and invite opportunities for creative and imaginative play. Every project is easy to complete, made with accessible materials, and requires little time to make. The projects are simple enough that endless variation can come from the making of each, leaving enough room for you to make the item to suit your own personal interests.
With a design aesthetic that is clean, simple, and modern, each project is presented with full-color photos and hand-drawn instructional illustrations and templates. Projects include:
• Modern Doll House and Doll House Furniture
• Portable Zoo Animals
• Abstract Vertical Puzzle
• Wooden Nature Scene
• Bottle-Cap Tambourine
• Exploration Cape
• Modern Alphabet Game
• Shadow Puppet Theater
• And more!
About the Author
Joel Henriques is fascinated by color, shape, and craftsmanship. He was drawn to painting as a child, inspired by his grandmother, a painter herself. She spent hours showing Joel the paintings of Matisse, Picasso, Miro, and many others. Through these and her own paintings, she taught him ideas about color and design and eventually coached him on his earliest paintings. These childhood experiences lead him to pursue a B.A. in Fine Art and Philosophy. Becoming a parent was, for Joel, another way of looking at art in the world. As a young child himself, he made many of his own toys. As a father, he began making toys for his young twins. He began to see that a beautiful, minimal, well-crafted object allowed his children to use and develop their own imaginations, rather than having an object tell them how they must play with it. Moved by his children's interaction with art, Joel began documenting these crafts on his blog, Made By Joel. Creating art for children, and for the child in everyone, is a powerful thing. Joel lives with his wife and three-year-old twins in Portland, Oregon. See more of his crafts at www.madebyjoel.com, and see more of his art at www.joelhenriques.com.
“The projects in this book will take you back to simpler times. Utilizing common materials around the household to make things—but with a modern touch—the beauty of this book lies in the simple toy and craft projects.”—Living Crafts Magazine
“Henriques has incorporated the experiences of his children’s imaginations at play into the amazing projects throughout this book. Although they may look simplistic to today’s high-tech kids, these projects will create lasting memories more precious than any video games.”—San Francisco Book Review