Generally speaking, we try to give our children simple, good quality toys made out of natural materials over the mass-produced plastic variety. I'm proud to say that my husband Chris has created many of these toys himself over the past few years. He taught himself woodworking when Owen was very small, so he could make toys for him. It gradually grew from a hobby into a business, and we eventually opened up an Etsy shop to sell his toys. (There are links to our shop at the right of the page if anyone is interested.)
Of course Chris still makes toys for our own children. Our boys have quite an impressive collection of wooden toys. I really don't mind when I find a wooden pull-toy or truck on the floor; they're beautiful, and seem to look like they belong in our home anywhere they are.
For Easter this year Chris made Jasper a wooden ride-on toy. He just came up with the design out of his head. Isn't it cute? He covered the wheels with the rubber tread from some discarded bicycle tires.
Unfortunately, we found that the handlebars were a bit too far forward for Jasper to comfortably reach. So the toy went back into the workshop, and came back the next day with some modified handlebars:
Now it's just perfect for Jasper, and he's having fun scooting around the house on it.
It's uniquely satisfying making things for your children with your own hands. At least, I would imagine...none of my own projects have turned out quite as nicely as the ride-on toy. I did try to knit a teddy bear for Jasper this spring, but to my chagrin the head displayed an extremely lumpy and irregular appearance. Perhaps if I get up the courage I'll post a picture of it some other time!
I would like very much to be able to knit proficiently enough to actually create sweaters and hats for my dear children...but I'm not sure if that will ever happen. I will, however, keep on trying! Practice makes perfect, or so they say...