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Book Review: Toys, Games, and Furniture

posted Feb 3, 2012, 5:57 AM by Michael Dekker   [ updated Mar 16, 2012, 6:21 AM ]
Toys, Games, and Furniture
Keeping with the theme of wooden toys for children, I thought I'd present another book review. Again, I am searching for gift ideas for my 14 month old daughter's first Christmas, when she will be almost 18 months old.

The book I have before me today is Toys, Games, and Furniture from the Family Handyman series by Reader's Digest (1995, Roundtable Press, ISBN 0-89577-790-8)

The book is hardcover, approximately 8-1/2" tall by 11" wide (an unusual format), and is just shy of 200 pages long, with heavyweight paper and a good binding. I should point out that the sewn binding is sturdy, but avoid laying heavy objects on the book when it is open, since it is bound to "crack the spine", and spill pages.

Like most books of its type, the book starts with safety: The elements of a child-safe toy are laid out for you, to keep you from incorporating inappropriate elements into the toys you might choose to build. The book is divided into four major sections: Toys, games, wagons and rocking toys, and finally furniture and storage.

There is not much in the way of introductory material, and the book delves straight into the projects. Each project has the expected breakdown of parts list, step-by-step instructions, exploded-view diagrams, and occasionally a grid-view of key project parts to allow for easy transfer to your actual finished size. Read the instructions with a close eye to detail, since it appears some of the instructions are glossed over. Make sure you understand the flow of the steps before you proceed!

The projects themselves are interesting if not eclectic. Rocking horse, pull toy, advent calendar, sled, airplane, vehicles, games, Lego table, beds, storage boxes, and many more. Most projects involve only moderate woodworking skills, making these projects well within the realm of a hobby woodworker with limited tools.

All that being said, this book's projects are sure to delight children aged 3 and up, with some of the toys and games being the most interest to children 6 and up. For me, my search continues for age-appropriate toys for my little girl!