It used to be (and it might still be if it was allowed to be) you could give a little boy a stick, and he could entertain himself for hours. That was true of a ball. And a tree. And a backyard. Everything had the potential to be transformed into homemade toys. All that was required was imagination.
But imagination has waned. And homemade toys aren’t cool anymore.
When I was a little preschool kid, my Grandmother made sure my brother and I used our imaginations. She’d bring out her bag of wooden clothespins, some empty thread spools, and some other odds and ends. And she’d show us how to “build” our own toys.
Grandmother cared about us. And she wanted us to use our brains. So, as a result, I can show you how to make a tank. Or a bulldozer. Or a steamroller. And I don’t need anything more than a nail, a rubber band, and an empty thread spool.
And I don’t need a bag of cheap, made-in-China, plastic soldiers, or a digital device to set up battlefields where kingdoms are vanquished or saved.
With a few ordinary items, from around the house, and a rich imagination, you can turn your whole world into a giant video game. My homemade toys were made of broken tree limbs. And paper. And leaves floating on water that trickled along the curb.
A broken tree limb was a magic walking stick that led the way to the hidden treasures of the world. A tiny triangle of paper became a football for a tabletop game.
And here’s the best part.
Homemade toys can last forever.
Well, not the actual toys. But the experiences. The memories. And the skills you develop.
Famous inventors started out that way. And they pursued ways to turn their imagination into useful art and science and tools.
Sure, some of their visions turned into video games. And that’s fine. But the ideas were homemade.
And all that awesome power of imagination in your head is there because of one thing. Love. Because God loves you (and even me) so much. And He wants to see what you can come up with using that spectacular brain He gave you.
Just because you’re older now doesn’t give you a pass to coast the rest of your life. Go make some homemade something or other today.
(psst…if it’s pie, don’t forget your ol’ buddy, Tony)
Make it yourself with a new idea
And a motor and a wire.
You never know who might love your work
Or who you might inspire.
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