David Chisnell, Lecturer and toy designer.
This robust threading toy can either be used by a child playing alone,
or with an adult to help, it becomes a "to and fro" toy.
The adult holds the tree between them, and threads the bee from her
side through to the child. He threads it back. This toy is also excellent
for using in a group situation for it is all in one, and there are
no parts to be mislaid.
- Assuming you are not using a table tennis bat, make a paper
pattern for the tree. Fold a sheet of paper in half, and draw
half the tree against the fold. Flange out the bottom of the tree
trunk to make it easier to hold.
- Cut out the paper pattern and draw round it on the plywood.
- Cut out the tree shape from the plywood
- Drill holes - bee size - at intervals in the leafy part.
- Drill a small hole in the trunk for the cord.
- Clean up all the rough edges with sandpaper.
- Now for the bee. Cut the dowel to size, round off the head and
smooth the end with sandpaper.
- Drill a small hole in the end for the cord.
- Squirt some glue into the hole and poke in the cord. A needle
will help to feed it in.
- Wedge the cord firmly in place with a small piece of matchstick
coated in glue.
- Paint both sides of the tree green, with a brown trunk.
- Paint the bee yellow with black stripes.
- Protect all the paint with two coats of polyurethane varnish.
- Tie the other end of the cord to the tree.
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