Zany Wooden Toys that Whiz, Spin, Pop, and Fly
If you like to build things this is a surprisingly approachable guide to the construction of clever wooden toys that kids from 5 to 95 will enjoy. I have made several of the toys with my children and it affords me a fun time with them and an opportunity to show them how to work with wood and use a variety of tools.
Bob Gilsdorf is an engineer by day and a wooden toy inventor by night. He provides easy to follow instructions with diagrams, measurements, and project item lists to keep things organized. The illustrations and photography are great. Each toy teaches various woodworking techniques as well as engineering design. I like that the author describes some of his design mistakes and leverages these as teachable moments for the reader. The projects in this book might look simple, but they teach real woodworking and engineering design skills as well as techniques for using tools. The completed toys are always more fun to play with than one might think from looking at the pictures. There is ample opportunity for creative decorating choices. The tools needed to make any of the projects are all basic, low cost tools that most home garages will have. A few unusual items such as a coping saw and a vise are easy enough to acquire. This is a great introductory woodworking book for kids and adults.