Miniatures ~ Handmade Toys

Part One of a Three Part Series

My children would rather make toys then buy them. Well, two of them for sure. Brienne who is eight years old and has always embraced a "more is better" philosophy about life (sweets, toys, physical affection, clothing - more is always better) is still drawn to store bought toys but with a tempered "I'd like to try making that" enthusiasm.

Which is not to say she doesn't love handmade toys - she absolutely does. The more the merrier! Handmade, store bought, battery operated, recycled, thrift store finds. All are equally loved. 

To be sure, our toy bins are still filled with store bought toys. American girl dolls, lego and other building toys, plastic animals, match box cars and miscellaneous garage sale do-dads. 

Maybe it's their growing maturity or personalities but our children get more pleasure from making their entertainment than they do consuming entertainment (the occasional movie aside).

Celine delights in taking cardboard, fabric and tape and making elaborate castles for her sibling's birthday presents. Laurent of course loves to draw and also sculpt little animals and creatures with clay, wires and fabric. Brienne especially loves to make flower fairies and anything fancy. 

It often seems the making of a toy is usually more fun than the actual playing with it. 

But there are some handmade toys that the kiddos come back to time and time again. Both to create and to play - those are their miniatures. Little people crafted with beads, wire, fabric and glue. Structures made with cardboard, duct tape and felt. 

If you are a local friend and have been in our house you have no doubt seen these creations. They are either "in construction" or "in play" almost all the time. It's a pleasure to watch our children make their own toys and make their own fun with just a few craft supplies and a wee bit of inspiration.

For the next couple days I will be sharing these creations with you (as asked for by a friend) to maybe inspire your own children's crafting.

Get out the hot glue mom. Don't take the cardboard to the curb yet. It's time to make some toys!

The following posts have featured our kiddo's handmade miniature toys:

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Miniatures ~ Medieval Castles »
  • Spring

    Spring on March 16, 2011, 1:51 a.m.

    Oh dear, I'll have to keep the post from my kids until they are done putting away their crafting from THIS week! Houses, castles and vehicles made from cardboard, peopled with medieval and 1950's paper dolls. Paper, tape and cardboard are not safe from creative little hands at our house! :) I KNOW they will be inspired by another peak at these miniatures! Thanks for sharing!! :)


  • Emily

    Emily on March 16, 2011, 1:52 a.m.

    This is so fun. I think it takes some pretty clever and creative children to invent their play and love it like I know yours do. I think that it is a wonderful thing that you have created a home where this is encouraged and an important element to their childhood play. I have a daughter who loves to create miniature dolls. Her style and technique have evolved over the years. She got so good at making little fairies, mermaids, and nature folk that a few years ago, she made her own creche for our nativity collection. It is an heirloom for sure. Go here to see:


  • Francesca

    Francesca on March 16, 2011, 6:41 a.m.

    Amazing toys! I hope my daughter will be into making miniature people and furniture - I can't wait to help her! :) She's also embraced the "the more, the better & merrier" philosophy. We never had many toys. Our house is too small, but also, my elder boy never played with anything except for board games and action games, and my second born loved making swords etc, and building elaborate car tracks in dirt and mud.


  • Maryam

    Maryam on March 16, 2011, 7:53 p.m.

    These are so wonderful! I'm looking forward to seeing more and showing my kids. Sometimes I can't figure out the HOW of making toys, even though we definitely want to try.


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