Book: Made to play {with giveaway}

by kath_red on 09/11/2011

in Books, Kids Crafts, Toys+Plush

November: Month of books at

Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations By Joel Henriques, Published by Roost Books (October 11, 2011).

I have a been a big fan of Joel Henriques blog for a while now – even though my kids are a little older than his – I really appreciate his style, design, colour, and imaginative sense of play. On his blog he regularly posts projects, colour in sheets, and templates for simple toys that he makes for his twin pre-school age kids. The toys are all pretty simple but ingenious at the same time – often made from recyled materials – bits of wood, wire and cloth, they are glued, stitched or nailed – all really accessible projects.

His book follows on from his blog with fresh toys and projects to make for that pre-school age and older (my 11 year old daughter found a few wire dolls and simple toys that she is planning on making herself). The animal finger puppets on the cover are an example of simplicity and cleverness all rolled into one – all you need is paper, tape and crayons – the kids can do most of it themselves too. More projects incude little carved wooden animals and those birds pictured above which are made with feathers, card, wire and a wooden thread spool. Joel also makes a wooden dolls house out of bits of timber with some modern furniture made from wire and cloth to go inside.

My personal favourite are the slotted building discs – which Joel recommends for older kids as they are little bit trickier to build with (but simply made with notched paper circles). My son has made the rubber band racing cars. There is also a chapter on homemade pretend and real musical instruments and another chapter on dress-ups – this project excerpt – modular leg bands is from this chapter. The last chapter is about making art – from simple animations to 3D drawings to little wood and wire sculptures.

Now because I know you want one of these books – Roost books is kindly giving FIVE readers a chance to win one – Yay! Thank you Roost.
So please leave a comment here – telling us one toy you have made with/for your kids. You have 48 hours to enter, winners will be drawn at random and notified by email. Thanks – and good luck! Comments are now closed the winners are #63 Abbington, #50 Bethany, #156 Mountain girl, #103 Nichole, #33 michelle: and you have been contacted via email. Thanks so much for entering.

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For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

{ 171 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon Young November 9, 2011 at 6:28 am

oh, oh pick me! pick me! I love Joel’s stuff.

2 Mhairi November 9, 2011 at 7:35 am

My three year old and I have just sewn a ghost together – although he did most of it.
Love it and so does he.
We also love to make shakers, kaleidoscopes and all sorts out of toilet rolls.

3 Carmel November 9, 2011 at 8:04 am

Fun, fun, fun! I want to encourage my kids’ creative streaks in positive ways. This looks like just the book for that.

4 Jen November 9, 2011 at 8:05 am

5 books, I like my odds. I love Joel and this book looks fab.

5 C November 9, 2011 at 8:07 am

Wow…I wish this book had been around when I was a kid…oh, wait, I am still a “Kid at Heart” as the saying goes!
Thank you for this chance.

6 liza jane November 9, 2011 at 8:13 am

Very cool! I have no kids of my own yet, but I teach elementary art. One of my favorite lessons I teach is a color mixing lesson where we make an old fashioned button toy. The “button” has primary colors on it that mix when it spins.

7 Amy November 9, 2011 at 8:15 am

Ooh, fresh inspiration. Love it!

8 erinmalia November 9, 2011 at 8:18 am

my most-recent project was one of joel’s! it was his little baby sun ray toy for my three-month old. oh that man is so creative!

9 Maya November 9, 2011 at 8:23 am

We’ve just made some spiders. In the past there were many rag dolls for my daughter and fabric balls / animals for my son. Judging by the post and the photos this book promises treasures!

10 beth lehman November 9, 2011 at 8:23 am

My children are older, too, but I still follow his blog for the same reason – the design and the simplicity are fantastic!

11 Leigh M November 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

With my own kids and running a home daycare, I am always on the lookout for new craft ideas. This book would really come in handy! The last craft we did was marble painting. We used marbles dipped in reds, oranges, yellows, and green paints, rolled them all over the paper and then glued on a brown construction paper tree trunk….it was our autumn posters. The kids did a great job on it.

12 Jamie November 9, 2011 at 9:06 am

This book looks fantastic!

13 tinsenpup November 9, 2011 at 9:19 am

My ten year old and I painted shapes and designs on river stones today for our toddler to play with. I also made the little one a doll for her second birthday recently, but the toy she really loves is a simple truck that she made herself from Duplo blocks.

14 Isobel November 9, 2011 at 9:38 am

I wish I’d had this when my daughter was smaller. But then again, now she’s 10, she’s got her own collection of rubber bands, string, precious ribbons, snippets of fabric, paper off-cuts – this book could just be the kick-start she and I need to have a jolly good PLAY together!

15 Isobel November 9, 2011 at 9:39 am

Forgot to mention a project – we wove a table mat the other day, using our peg-loom for the first time!

16 Lauren November 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

My daughter just turned one, so we havent done too many crafts yet, but she loves playing with cardboard tubes, and any kind of puppet! This book would be fun to have around as she gets older!

17 Amy November 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

Well I have made many knitted critters and sewn a few simple toys for my girls, but my father is a woodworker and has made them cars, doll houses, blocks, wooden figures and soon is sending wooden laptops that use chalk on them! I have had my eye on this book for a while and need an extra push to get working with wood myself.

18 Tera November 9, 2011 at 10:02 am

I have made my boys mice and cat bowling ball game I found in Handmade toys book, I have also made the Kojo doll (forgot the name of the book). I love Made by Joel blog and would love his book. I have also made many of his creations from his blog. They are so much fun.

19 ccherry November 9, 2011 at 10:06 am

All of my kids are rentals and most of our activities have been guided by Scout projects but the ones they still talk about are puppets and a puppet stage and some masks we did when they were little. I just got asked to help with a kindergarten group and need new ideas, it’s been a bit since I’ve had to consider projects where the participants have limited manual dexterity and reading skills.

20 Marci November 9, 2011 at 10:15 am

we made some hand sewn stuffies the other day, our first real sewing projects.

21 ~Heather November 9, 2011 at 10:34 am

My son and I cut up used cereal boxes to make some armor for him yesterday.

22 Siew November 9, 2011 at 10:41 am

Costumes are our main project of play around here and they come in all shapes and sizes.

23 Sandye November 9, 2011 at 10:44 am

I just recently stumbled upon Made by Joel and love his site, it would be great to win his book!

24 Sandye November 10, 2011 at 10:49 am

I completely forgot to mention which item we’ve made so far…the adorable reindeer cards on his blog! I printed a bunch out for my girls to color and pass out to their classmates when Christmas rolls around.

25 Hilary November 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

I made Joel’s paper city over a year ago and my kid still loves it!

26 tatjana November 9, 2011 at 10:57 am

Lot’s of great ideas, I would LOVE a copy of this book!

27 Debbie November 9, 2011 at 11:23 am

I love to play! (With my grandkids. Or not.)

28 Laura November 9, 2011 at 11:24 am

We make tons of stuff! Most recently we’ve been doing leaf rubbings, postcards, and watercolor flowers with coffee filters. Thanks for the giveaway!

29 Sarah November 9, 2011 at 11:27 am

What an awesome opportunity! So far, my favorite projects have been Halloween costumes for my son. He’s 18 months, so we are only now getting to the point where we can really do some projects together – can’t wait to start!

30 Eve November 9, 2011 at 11:32 am

We made some Christmas ornaments out of shrinky-dink paper last year. It was fun and the grandmas loved them.

31 Lisa November 9, 2011 at 11:34 am

I’ve been following Joel’s blog and I am amazed how simple yet creative his creations are (and then I chastise myself for not thinking of it first (smile)).

32 Octavia November 9, 2011 at 11:38 am

After making some t-shirt yarn for myself, the kids and I used the scraps to make a tug-o-war rope. They also like to use it as a jump rope and in their pretend play. Thanks!

33 michelle November 9, 2011 at 11:55 am

My son loves Joel’s paper city printouts. Anyway the last toy we made together was a pair of binoculars made from toilet paper rolls for his Halloween costume.

34 Thor November 9, 2011 at 11:57 am

This looks great! Past projects with my kids (they are much older now) included knight’s armor made from chicken wire, hand puppets, and later many electronics projects. Now I have a preschool-age grand daughter and another on the way, and aside from the typical art projects, I need new ideas for toys. My wife is also a Montessori pre-school teacher, so she’s always looking for good projects.

35 Lola Nova November 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Ooh, I would love this book! We make toys all the time around here! Our last project was sea creature puppets, and before that it was Popsicle stick dolls!
Thanks for the chance.

36 victoria November 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I have made my kids waldorf dolls and they love them-crooked eyes and all. Thanks for the chance to win! I have been eager to have this one on my bookshelf!

37 lorraine November 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm

awesome book! ive never made a toy with my children because i have no children but my gf does and i think this would be perfect for her! :)

38 jessicac November 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I love the birds with the feathers! I just got done sending a collage of postcards to my goddaughter, When assembled they made a halloween picture to color!

39 Gen November 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I have long been a follower of Joel’s blog and am loving that his ideas are in print! I have made a lot of his little inventions of his over time and his toys have often inspired others in a chain reaction! Our favourite of Joel’s was the zip toy made with fishing line, a bent paperclip and a button. I love that all the necessary tools to make the toy were lying around the house! However, in answer to your question, the most recent toy I have made with/for my girls is an origami mobile made with gift paper butterflies and fishing line on found tree branches. It is lovely!

40 Deepa November 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm

My fave DIY toy is the simplest thing. It is a coffee can with a slot cut out in the lid, and filled with lids saved from bottles and jar (they need to be able to fit in the slot). Decorate the coffee can and stick photos or magazine pics on the lids. My kids have SO much fun emptying the can and then putting the lids in one by one. Use photos of relatives they don’t see very often for extra points (most of my family is in India, I live in the US).
Have fun making this! And I’m hoping to win a copy of this book so I can craft with my 3 and 4 year olds!

41 Ashley November 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm

My kids are still too little (2 years and 2 months) for me to attempt projects with them but I have made them some stuffed animals and have been knitting little amigurumi creatures that I’ll give them as Christmas gifts. I think my son is getting old enough that we can start on simple projects soon but I have no idea what we might be able to make!

42 Heather November 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

I would LOVE this book. My boys like making sling shots!!

43 Danijela November 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm

This is amazing,thanks for chance to win it.I crochet few items for my daughter and together we play with scissors and paper.

44 Ally November 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I love Joel’s ideas, and the simplicity of them. The toy we are making the most, currently, is the paper plane. These are enormously satisfying both to Ms2 and Mr7. We make them out of many different sorts and sizes of paper. Ms2 likes to throw them, but also make long long lines of them on the floor. Mr7 is trying to work out the best possible combination of fold, paper type and size.

45 Adva November 9, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Looks like a great book! I love making toys from unused stuff…
My 4 y/o and I made a puppet show from origami figures.

46 Alison November 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm

I have knit elephants for my boys for toys. But together, we have made the traditional wax paper and cardboard roll kazoos and also made lots of other musical instruments. Last week was popcorn kernals in a decorated can. We also did some fun balloon painting. I think this book would be a great addition to our collection of books with art ideas!

47 Maya November 9, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I’ve been following Joel’s blog and love his ideas. I have made mini coloring books for my kids, using Joel’s coloring pages, which kept them entertained during a 5 hour car ride. Thanks for the giveaway!

48 Andrea from ziezo November 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Looks fun! We make a lot of our own toys (music instruments, building blocks, play food, etc.) This would be a great addition to our crafting time.

49 Katie November 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm

My boys and I just made a “Calm Down” jar. Not sure if it constitutes as a toy, but they enjoyed making it!

50 Bethany November 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm

I put a leafless tree decal on my daughter’s bedroom wall and we make paper decorations according to the season…

51 Laura November 9, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Ah, what a lovely book and lovely title!

We make a lot of toys around here, too. Most recently we made shadow puppets (and an indoor tent). :)

52 Sadie Fox November 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I made my youngest daughter a teeny tiny rag doll that lived in a renovated vintage wooden jewelry boy. I removed some of the inner workings of the jewelry box to create a bed, room and storage for tiny outfits for the doll. She adores it and I find her playing with it all the time. I love making things with and for my two girls and this book sounds wonderful. Thank you for the chance!

53 Kristel November 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Yes, yes, yes! Would love to win one. Big fan of Joel from the start!

54 catherine November 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I love Joel’s blog, and this book looks wonderful! We like making things together at our place, and I love that my daughter likes to be the designer. We made a rubber band and box “harp” which was wonderful, and much quieter than her other music toys!

55 Collette November 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm

I’ve made a little ramp for marbles out of a cereal box. I of course got the idea from his blog! It turned out pretty well and it was nice that it got played with until it got destroyed. And then we recycled it. I felt double-virtuous–made a toy out of recycled materials then recycled it. Karma for days!!! ;-)

56 Catherine November 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Looks like a great book! A regular favourite for us – the classic trumpet from a cardboard toilet roll. This week we’ve made a lantern for St Martin’s day which is a very popular parade and celebration with children here in Germany.

57 Diana M November 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm

This looks like a great book. We recently made some arno cats from the book Softies. Both my kids learned how to hand sew while making these cool cats.

58 michele November 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm

my most recent handmade toy was a set of juggling balls for my little one.

59 Jackie Quang November 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm

A cardboard kitchen for our then two year old, only materials that weren’t to hand were some fetching swirly blue 70s type contact that we bought to cover it, plus handles and things we bought from Reverse Garbage for knobs and hobs: total cost about $20. It was a combined effort of three parents which was the fun part.

60 Beth November 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

We made felt juggling balls ( the kind you make with hose in the washing machine). I’m an art teacher and I love Joel’s blog and I am so happy he has a book!

61 jojoebi November 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

one of our favourite ‘toys’ is a slice of log, sanded then I hammered nails into it, we keep it with a basket of rubber bands and string. My son can often be found making different designs or playing music with the rubber bands.

62 jopsy November 9, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Lily (6) & I (37 and 3/4) made a MASSIVE marble run from recycled tubes over the summer hols, it was great fun and we stuck it to our large mirror in the lounge!

63 Abbington November 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I LOVE Joel’s website – so many great ideas! I imagine the book is completely fabulous, too.
My son & I made a hobby horse from a broomstick & sock (well, we turned it into a unicorn, actually) to give to my daughter last year on her birthday. She loves it. And once we made a cable car with old yoghurt tubs and some string tied up from the curtain rods to the kitchen stools. The kids had a blast transporting the fisher price people across the loungeroom!

64 se7en November 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm

I hope this contest is a world-wide one because I quite simply have to win this – seriously have to !!! I have loved this book since before it was born!!! Things I have made with my kids… Anything you can imagine from a box… Anything!!!

65 Bianca November 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm

My girls always love anything that they can paint and make a mess with, I like to enjoy them outside so clean up is not so hard lol

66 Mindy November 9, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Dolls from clothes pins were a real hit around here. We even built them a tree house from branches, glue, and pipe cleaners. I love Joels blog too!

67 tiffany November 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm

we love transforming river rocks into characters with paint, so many organic shapes to choose form, endless hours of imaginative play…

68 seana November 9, 2011 at 8:33 pm

We have made so much, the other week my son, my niece and I made an awesome kitchen for my daughter (complete with sink and taps), that’s probably the best but we have made puppet theaters, baby beds and when I was a teenager my sister and I made our little sister a TMNT sewer play set. toilet rolls for pipes and cling wrap for water.

69 Callie November 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm

We made pirate hats, eye patches and foil covered swords the other day.

70 Mel Wisc November 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm

We have made a number of shakers out of kinder suprise eggs with rice inside. we then taped them to prevent them from opening and then put them inside a piece of stocking so it makes it easier to little hands to grab at. They are a big hit. Would love more ideas and this book would be a great help. While Im not a very creative person to come up with ideas, when I see something in books I always give it a go. They have made show and tell more than once. :0

71 JoAnne November 9, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I have made rubberband shooters with my grandsons.
I also enjoy Joel’s blog for ideas to use with my grandsons. He is amazing.

72 Kat November 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Lucy and I made a bus out of a tissue box :)

73 Mariana November 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Such a great initiative. The best thing is being able to read all the ideas to make new toys given by all the other readers.
Well, as bubba is only 5 months old, the only toy ‘we’ made was 5 ‘finger caps’ with animal faces. He loved all the colours and grabbing my fingers and trying to put them in his mouth!

74 Mandi Coulter November 9, 2011 at 10:40 pm

i have crocheted my boys plushies and have sewn them small toys but would love ideas for things to make with them!!

75 Bethany November 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I’d love to win! My kids and I have made a matching game and a bean bag toss.

76 Sara H November 9, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Paper City! I don’t have kids myself but I nanny and Get tons of ideas from his blog posts! Would Love, Love, Love to have this book! :)

77 Jaimee November 9, 2011 at 11:24 pm

My husband and I made the magnetic fishing rod and fish for our boy’s friend’s birthday. It was a big hit! So we made another for our boy. Joel’s book is a must-have!

78 Shawna November 9, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Popsicle stick puzzles using family photos.

79 Bella01 November 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm

I love Joels website, please pick me. I have been a fan of his for ages,

80 Erica Wilmer November 9, 2011 at 11:26 pm

My two kids love our sensory bottles! We reuse old water bottles–add in water, food coloring and anything we can find (beads, glitter, sequins, etc.). We just started making them seasonally…it has been a lot of fun!

We’d love to win one of the books! I love Joel’s website!!

81 Katherine of Kitten's Lost Her Mittens November 9, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I would love to win this book! We’ve made book characters and animals out of toilet paper tubes, so it’s fun to see something similar on the cover. Thanks so much for the chance to win!

82 robin November 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm

I’ve already ordered joels book but a second copy would make a great Yule gift for my sister and her little ones! We love making things with items from the recycling, for example; basket weaving with strips of cereal boxes. We also really have fun with origami.

83 meg November 9, 2011 at 11:34 pm

we recently sewed soft fabric blocks together.

84 Nan November 9, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Oh we would LOVE a book! My daughter and I made a whole princess town out of boxes for her dollies. And then her brother crushed it, but that’s another story…

85 Jennyroo November 9, 2011 at 11:36 pm

My boys and I made superhero masks with some felt and velcro. They still love playing with them!

86 Jen November 9, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Awesome! I’m a huge Joel fan. As an art therapist, I use his computing sheets and paper puppets all the time with vulnerable kids. I’m hoping to get pregnant soon and make everything in his book & blog about them at
Thanks for the opportunity to win!

87 Louie November 9, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Joel’s paper / straw blowing fish is easy to make and would love to get more tips from him!

88 Katie November 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm

One of the moat recent toys I have made for my kids was a doorway puppet theatre from a shower curtain liner and duck tape. I love the made by Joel blog and can’t wait to check out the book!

89 Shelley November 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I love Joel’s site, too! He’s amazing! My daughter and I color his coloring sheets then cut out the animals to play with.

90 Liz November 9, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Wow this looks fantastic…would love to win one. The last toys we all made together were felt finger puppets…soo much fun…a skeleton and a jack-o-lantern for Hallowe’en.

91 Heather Povolish November 9, 2011 at 11:54 pm

I am making some fabric roads for my son to drive his monster trucks on. Joel’s creativity is inspiring!

92 Kiera November 9, 2011 at 11:55 pm

A fabric fold up and carry farm house! He loves it!

93 Liane November 10, 2011 at 12:00 am

Love Joel’s stuff. The stuffed frog from purl bee has been one of my kids favorite creations.

94 Carolyn November 10, 2011 at 12:02 am

We made binoculars using toilet rolls the other day, haha. Simple and fun! My husband is the better crafter though. He made a cardboard cubby house with a support frame using discarded, wooden garden stakes.

95 Eileen November 10, 2011 at 12:04 am

I made fleece monster dolls for my husband, children and grandchildren plus myself a couple years ago. They were mostly usibg patterns in a book i had but all adapted for each person and a few were designed by me for a particular person. Lots of fun

96 Amber D November 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

We’ve made “rain makers” from cardboard tubes and rice, as well as cardboard pirate hats and eye patches, dolls houses from boxes, even a dolls’ playground from recycled bits and pieces… heaps of things I can’t even remember right now, d’oh! Kids are so naturally creative if you give them material to work with.

I Love love love Joel’s website and have been hoping the local library gets a copy of his book… even better if I can win one!

97 Sara November 10, 2011 at 12:14 am

I made the dolls from his site for Christmas gifts for this year!

98 Imogen O'Meara November 10, 2011 at 12:16 am

An oven with stove top from a box, foil and milk bottle tops, and just the other day a gorgeous bouquet of roses from painted egg carton cups on kebab skewers. Love them!

99 Kelsey Loewen November 10, 2011 at 12:17 am

Christmas is coming, and this would be the perfect gift!

100 satoko November 10, 2011 at 12:19 am

I love making toys and pretty much everything for them!
I have made stuffed dinosaurs, teddy bears, building blocks, costumes, and many more. I love Joel’s creations and his aesthetics. I would LOVE to have his books!

101 Raygen November 10, 2011 at 12:22 am

I love Joel’s ideas and am dying to get this book!! My 3 year old and I like to make stuff together. We have made a magnetic felt fishing set, a set of felt food, paper matching games (some of Joel’s included!), too many to list!

102 TK November 10, 2011 at 12:27 am

I like making little plushies and stuffed animals.

103 Nichole November 10, 2011 at 12:28 am

I have always encouraged exploration and creativity in my children. Nothing makes me happier now to see my 5yr think of and then make her own idea come to life. Last week it was a fish tank from a cardboard box painted and then filled with fish floating on string stuck to the lid just because I had put some goldfish back into our fishtank. Joel’s blog is inspirational to many – just as I imagine his book will be :)

104 Di @ Mummy Di-alogue November 10, 2011 at 12:30 am

We seem to accumulate a large number of toilet rolls in our house so I’m always thinking of ways to use them in playgroup and at home crafts. One of my daughter’s favourites was the set of binoculars we made with rolls, cellophane and string. Love the toilet roll animals on the cover of this book – it must be a sign! :0)

105 Erica November 10, 2011 at 12:30 am

I am coveting this book. One project I just completed, with my husband, is a cardboard house for my son — old fashioned but still fun!

106 Danielle Hittle November 10, 2011 at 12:33 am

My husband made a very cool parking garage for our 3 year old son.

107 Rachee November 10, 2011 at 12:35 am

My daughter and I have made puppets together. They weren’t the prettiest but they were fun.

108 Cat November 10, 2011 at 12:38 am

Just love Joel’s stuff. We’ve done quite a few of his projects, but our most recent self-made toy is a silk ribbon ring – just perfect for those breezy Spring days.

109 Johanna November 10, 2011 at 12:42 am

I’ve made several of the toys from Joel’s blog with my boys, but one of the very best was the tumble bunnies.

110 Maya November 10, 2011 at 12:49 am

Last year a did a “race car” from a toilet paper tube with my little one. We still have it :)

111 Sherry Murray November 10, 2011 at 12:50 am

I often make dolls or soft animals.

112 alison November 10, 2011 at 1:06 am

i made a barn with a box and we had stables for the horses and perches for the chooks. my little boy played with it for hours!

113 Nate November 10, 2011 at 1:14 am

I made a ride-on toy inspired by a classic Saab for my daughter.

114 KateNCo November 10, 2011 at 1:15 am

My almost 4 year old and I have been creating since he was tiny – our favourite is a huge canvas he painted when he was about 15 months old, using everything from toy trucks, twigs and even his feet to create his artwork. It still hangs proudly on his wall. More recently, we have made stuffed toys and the felt car seat toys from Joel’s blog for my 3 month old son. Next we are making personalised Xmas tree decorations for his preschool teachers.

115 Norza November 10, 2011 at 1:41 am

We made a memory game with printouts frm the website. Love the ideas!

116 Kirsten November 10, 2011 at 2:49 am

My daughter and i made a softie earlier this year, boy it was ugly but she likes it…lol

117 Dori Sibinger November 10, 2011 at 3:44 am

I would love to win! I have a 5 months old girlie, so much fun to play with her, with homemade toys of course.

118 Paula November 10, 2011 at 3:57 am

Jeah. Pick me… ;o)

I’ve made the aquarium for my little one to look at.

119 Heather Moll-Dunn November 10, 2011 at 4:21 am

My son can make a toy out of anything and I love to see what we can figure out together. He has a great imagination – we can make a pile of gathered acorns into anything from a necklace to a train to a village of people working together. Of course he can see possibilities for play in objects I wouldn’t even notice. That is what I love!

120 Carol November 10, 2011 at 4:23 am

Hand puppets with heads from cardboard rolls, painted faces & wool etc glued hair , bodies cut from scrap material or old socks glued to rolls at neck. Lots of variety!

121 Eglantine November 10, 2011 at 4:24 am

Hi, tank you for this giveaway !!!!
Here we love Paper city !!!!! I print city papet and adret my sons colorize or made scrap booking !!! I hope win ……….

122 Emilia November 10, 2011 at 4:39 am

Hello, in our family my husband does the toys, i am the assistant, we do whole towns out of paper. thx for the chance of winning this giveaway.

123 Alison November 10, 2011 at 4:40 am

My daughter’s favourite toy that I’ve made her is a doll with red hair in pig tails like her own hair. As she is only two the doll is imaginatively named dolly!

124 Jane T November 10, 2011 at 4:47 am

I have made paper masks and Indian headdresses with the children. I love Joel’s work!!!

125 Marga November 10, 2011 at 4:49 am

I’ve been following Joel for more than a year. He is such an inspiration! I have done many things with my daughter: his coloring sheets, the cat family, the paper city… I would be so happy with this book!

126 Effie November 10, 2011 at 4:51 am

I would love to win. We have made all the paper cities from Joel!

127 özlem schröder November 10, 2011 at 5:11 am

we love your work… we made many things from your ideas… would be very happy to get one!!!

128 mary November 10, 2011 at 5:16 am

Since i discovered his page i put it as my favorite, my son loved the finger animals, aquariun, the cereal marble box…. and i want the dollhouse for meeeeeeeeeee!!!! i just need time to do it! i wanted to buy the book but i couldnt find here in spain, so i would be very happy to win!

129 Hannah November 10, 2011 at 5:25 am

I’ve just made Sun Ray Toy for my little baby. Joel’s blog is a real breath of fresh air and very inspiring.

130 Beauvois November 10, 2011 at 5:40 am

Hi everybody,
I am French and I love the work of Joel : I made the Baby Sun Ray toy for my 6 month old daughter. I hope I will win one. Excellent day for you

131 Olivia Moore November 10, 2011 at 5:40 am

Patches on stripy pants and cereal boxes
City blocks and mazes and silver bird necklaces
Mobiles and calendars all made by Joel
These are a few of my favorite things

Hat sheep and elephants and wooden spool turkeys
Puzzles and swing sets and nature filled mobiles
Paper clip puppets so simple to make
These are a few of my favorite things

Match games and sock fish and etsy how-to posts
Ring toss, wooden gardens and sculpting with wire
Cities and kites, paper used to make both
These are a few of my favorite things

When the bug bites
and the kids sing
When we’re feeling crafty
Joel always comes through
with so much to do
And then we can play all day

132 Sue November 10, 2011 at 6:12 am

My son and I made swords from old bed slats. We made a few so that he always has extras for when friends are over… we made them with a hand guard and with yarn-bombed handles so that they’re comfortable to hold and each has a unique pattern of colors.

Made by Joel is a great site (and a very creative creator) and we’ve made the paper city…GREAT FUN. Congratualtions Joel and we’d love to have you as a book in our home to do more making together!

133 Janka November 10, 2011 at 7:15 am

I love the ideas from Joel! It’s so inspiring to play with my kids and make a lot of almost nothing! It’s great!

We did re-craft for example the marble roll from a simple cereal box … no need to buy expensive toys which aren’t that creative, funny and inspiring kids minds!

We do a lot of crafts and so we have a room in our house which is only reserved for crafting … there we can do a lot of mess!
My children especially like everything made from paper, tape and glue.
We build houses, trees, ships … and strange structures nobody knows what they are but they ment fun in the making.

Great work! Thanks!

134 Keitha November 10, 2011 at 7:49 am

Last year, my 4-year-old son and I made the cereal box marble run. We had a lot of fun designing, decorating, and playing with it. I love Made by Joel’s website! He is so creative.

135 Lenka November 10, 2011 at 8:03 am

I really appreciate Joel’s style, design, colour, and imaginative sense of play! Please pick me :-)

136 Tillie November 10, 2011 at 8:11 am

Working in an office with a laminator means your creations can last a bit longer….I printed out and laminated lots of favourite film characters, members of the family, modes of transport and backdrops for making stories – lots of fun!

137 Ms Racho November 10, 2011 at 8:57 am

We used a big cardboard box of a ikea closet to make a castle, the best toy ever, he sleeps his naps inside the box now

138 anne November 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

Oooohhh, I’d love to have that for my kids! The most recent thing we made was a road made with tape on the deck and cars from old toilet paper rolls that we’d glued and drawn on.

139 amy_t November 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

joel is the man! we’ve got a cut out owl mobile swaying the breeze tonight that is from joel’s website :)

140 Joy November 10, 2011 at 9:23 am

Oh I have been following the website for a while now! We have made a couple of the toys as well as taking the ideas and creating out own! We have take the coloring sheet fish and made a paper aquarium and printed the Dressy Cats. My kids are going to be getting the entire Paper city collection for Christmas! I can’t wait to set it up all over the living room!!

141 Mel November 10, 2011 at 9:56 am

We’ve made puppets, masks, dolls from TP tubes, gak, marble runs — you name it. I would love to see more of Joel’s ideas!

142 LiEr November 10, 2011 at 11:56 am

Eek! I so want this book. I have to put this on my Christmas list, regardless of whether I win, so I have an extra copy to give to relatives and friends. Joel is awesome. The most recent toy I made for the girls is their cardboard grocery store. Even I play with it, because I like sorting all the produce. Here is the link:

143 Emily November 10, 2011 at 12:13 pm

I don’t think that I have made any toys with my son. But I would LOVE to and he is getting to an age (2 1/2) where he can do a lot more. I hope I win!!!

144 Victoria November 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm

The zip-line. My boys favorite so far!! Thanks for the chance to win :)

145 Lucy November 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I recently made Joel’s robot legs for my son’s robot costume. For the rest of the costume, I used a cardboard box (which is funny because LiEr, my other inspiration) commented before me.

146 Kate November 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm

She has a crocheted alien creature I made so far, and we’ll do more as she gets bigger (she’s 11 months, so we’re getting there).

147 Meredith November 10, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I’d love to have a copy of this book to use with my kids!

148 jesy November 10, 2011 at 12:43 pm

A toy I have made with little Ms R was we did a Barbie bed, out of a shoe box, I sewed together a mattress, she filled it then I let her close the seam with my serger, then she helped me make a comforter and i let her make 2 pillows, she stuffed them then I closed it up. By that time she just wanted to play with the set and its still all in tact after a year of playing :)

149 Katie November 10, 2011 at 1:19 pm

My son has a handmade Memory game, and I’m planning to make most of my kids’ Christmas presents this year. This book looks great, and I love Made by Joel!

150 jillian November 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I am still gestating, but I’ve made a crochet teddy bear for the imminent arrival and a mobile (from JH’s website!) that is perhaps more practical (as “gawking” is more imminent in my house than play per se).

151 chandra November 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I love looking at his website to see what I should copy and do next.

152 Crunchy Con Mommy November 10, 2011 at 4:08 pm

I sewed my son a bunch of felt food and a few felt finger puppets!

153 Margie November 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Ohhh, I’d love to win. Right now my kids are all into making things for their lego mini figures … capes, back drops, props. This is really helping to make an already great toy even better.

154 Emily November 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm

My latest project with my girls was creating a collection of zoo animals out of fuzzy pipe cleaners, along with a cage for them to all live in. I have been drooling over Joel’s book since I first saw it and would love to have one to inspire new ideas for us to experience together!

155 Solducky November 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm

We made a magical cave using a cardboard box and Christmas lights stuck in holes poked in the top.
soluckyducky at gmail dot com

156 mountain girl November 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm

I made a tree house for my daughter’s dolls. How I’d love to win this book!

157 domestic diva November 10, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Lovely! Thanks for the chance.

158 Tami November 10, 2011 at 7:09 pm

The girls (2 1/2 and 5) and I painted and decorated jack o lantern milk jugs for Halloween. We are inspired by Joel’s blog/work and would to win his book.

159 Dee November 10, 2011 at 7:20 pm

We recently made some stacking blocks using offcuts of a Camilia bush that we removed from the front garden. The kids helped sand them and oil them. I know that this book would be well thumbed at our place.

160 Ann November 10, 2011 at 8:08 pm

My girls, 8 year old twins, love to sew. We recently made little heart shaped pillows. They did the hand sewing, then turned them inside out and stuffed them. Really cute. Wish I’d taken a photo. Love Joel’s stuff!

161 Julie November 10, 2011 at 9:20 pm

What a wonderful book with fun creative ideas! My kids love making stuff – recently we made “ugly dolls” out of scrap felt – very fun.

162 Patricia November 10, 2011 at 11:43 pm

A favorite was masks — we made them on cardboard and stuck them on chopsticks.

163 Amanda V November 11, 2011 at 12:44 am

The toilet paper roll animals made me laugh – I can’t tell you how many toilet paper roll creations we have around the house! There is one favourite that has made it through several clean outs though, we call him Dude. Dude has great big pouty lips that I cut out then 4 year old L glued them on along with some googly eyes and spiky cut up paper hair :-)

164 Colleen November 11, 2011 at 1:20 am

PLEASE pick me! We made the delightful dressy cats … they now reside and play below my daughter’s loft bed. I think they like it here and would love to read the book with us …

165 adriana November 11, 2011 at 5:43 am

the memory game and the owl. My kids love both!!

166 jenna November 11, 2011 at 12:17 pm

thanks for the chance to win this book! last year for my son’s first birthday, i made a whole bunch of felted knit balls. the wool is so warm and soft to the touch. he still loves playing with them almost one year later.

167 sangeetha November 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm

My children and I go to the Home Depot and Lowes workshops and we have made over 20 toys together, like trains, cars, binoculars etc…

168 Iva November 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm

The last thing we made were the carved orange lanterns featured on this blog.
Thank you for this giveaway.
I would really love to win one of these.

169 Mary Emmens November 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I made a fabric rocket for my little boy which he loves, tonight I helped my middle child finish off Lightening McQueen which she started making at school today (she’ 4), I just taped where she told me too!

170 Lenka November 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Recently we made a tumble toy (rabitt) and blow fish toy – both have been fully enjoyed by 1 and 3 year old kids.

171 Abbington November 12, 2011 at 2:13 am

I’m so excited to have won a copy of this book! (And I’m sure my kids will be too – they love choosing things to make from the old ‘Big Ideas Book’ from my childhood (very 70′s!)) Thanks Shambhala & Kathreen for a great giveaway!

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