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Home-made Toys 


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  • Mumbly peg / Mumbley Peg
    A game played with pocket knives (probably now illegal in our democrat-controlled judicial system)

  • Drop-the-clothespins-in-the-mason-jar game
    Stand above an open Mason jar and take turns dropping 10 clothes pins to see who gets the most in.

  • Homemade Hoop Roller
    Dad took an old metal band that was about 12" in diameter (I don't know what it was off of, a barrel maybe?) 
    Then he got a piece of round metal stock (off a discarded wreath holder) & bent one end so it would hold a wooden spool.
    Next, he whittled out and drilled a handle to slip over the other end.
    You could run along behind the hoop and make it roll all over the yard. 
    You could turn it and even catch it when you wanted to.

    [Here's a pic someone sent me of a crude version of dad's hoop roller, but you get the idea.]

  • Homemade Willow Whistle
    Photos Wanted

    Willow whistles were made in spring when  the trees were full of sap. A straight piece cut from a branch was tapped on all sides until the tube of bark was loosened enough to be slipped off of the woody core. You cut a notch near one end, blew into the end and slid the core slid in and out to play tunes.

  • Homemade Crawler made by my dad from a wooden thread spool, a rubber band & two sticks.

    Dad used a wooden spool, a small stick or dowel about three inches long, a match stick and a rubber band.
    He would cut a notch in one end so the match stick would rest in it, he would lube the other side with soap, run the rubber band through the spool with the stick on one side and the match on the other. You would then crank the 3" stick, set it down and watch it go.

  • Marbles 

    I used to go to school with only my taw (shooting marble). At recess I would go to where there was a game of marbles going on and say: "Stick me for my taw." It's sorta like putting your favorite watch up at a poker game. If, when the game was over, I couldn't give the guy a marble back he got my taw. (It was a poor risk for those fellows because I would come home with both pockets bulging with marbles I'd won that day.) I NEVER lost a taw! I was pretty dang good. When I outgrew marbles, I had a 5 gallon bucket full and I got a flip and shot every dang one of 'em. DAMMIT!
    (Does anyone remember yelling before a marble game started: "Sticks, dubs 'n everthang!" And, "No grabs when the bell rings!" "No stomps!" "No pee-wees!" "No halvies!" "No steelie-balls"  ????)

  • Poppers
    Made from the tall plantain weed that grows in yards.

    You bend the stem around into a loop and pull so the head pops off.

  • Bug Trap
    Made for me by Bill Dixon who lived across the road when I was small. 
    She would weave stems of the plantain weed. Bugs would go in, but couldn't get out. 
    (I've gotta get Mrs. Dixon to show me how she did that while she's still alive.)

  • Catching a honey bee in a Mason jar......
    I would turn a Mason jar upside down, find a honey bee on some clover, lower the jar, the bee would fly to the top and I could carry the jar around while the bee tries to fly up. (I guess they're too stupid to fly down?)

  • Lighting Bug Lanterns 
    We would catch them in Mason jars, punch holes in the lid and watch 'em light up.

  • Tin Can Walkie-Talkies / Telephone 

    (Two tin cans and a string would work, but the ones that worked best were plastic cups and fishing line.)

  • Homemade Parachute  

    I would tie strings to the corners of a handkerchief and tie the other ends to a small rock or other weighted item.



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