Natural Wooden Toys is a book for parents interested in making
wooden toys. Erin Freuchtel-Dearing is a mom of two children who
began making toys for her children in an effort to make sure that
the toys were safe. All of the toys presented in this book are
made from wood and inspire imaginative play.
Freuchtel-Dearing takes the reader through all the steps necessary
to create a quality product. She begins with how to select wood,
transfer patterns, and create the wood pieces. Then, she proceeds
to show you how to paint the toys. Each page of the book is full
of colorful photographs and the painting section is superb. Fifteen
pages are dedicated to creating natural stains from plants or other
food based dyes. The color descriptions are amazing. One page shows
the difference between the various greens obtained from spinach,
dandelion, and oregano. Following painting, the book details how
to polish and care for the finished pieces. The last two-thirds
of the book are dedicated to different themes of toys from fairytale
to forest, farm, sea, and city. Each of the themed chapters
has several projects, including patterns to create an entire play
set related to the theme.
Wooden toys are typically associated with Waldorf settings, but
I believe that every child should have access to natural toys that
inspire creativity and imaginative play. Not only are wooden toys
long-lasting and beautiful to look at, but their texture is so
much nicer in the hand than plastic. Natural Wooden Toys is a comprehensive
beginner's book for making beautiful wooden toys for children.
If you have access to a scroll saw, have children whom you desire
to play with imaginative toys, and if you have a little bit of
time, this book would be a great tool.