made to play! – A Review

I’m usually leery of books that claim to encourage imaginative play. Too often exact steps are given as to what should be imagined and how the play should be undertaken.


made to play! isn’t a book about play; it’s about toys. Toys can be the spark needed for imaginative play. Mr. Henriques has taken simple objects and turned them into playthings. More importantly, he has given the adults reading the book permission to not follow step-by-step instructions.

While Henriques has included clear instructions for making the various toys, he has not given every detail. He doesn’t just encourage using your own imagination, or your child’s, to draw, cut, or build. He also adds “or whatever you want to use.”

While young children can make many of the toys, adult supervision is still required. When allowing your child to dive into toy making, don’t get stuck on a specific step. The free flowing form of the instruction allows for creativity and experimentation. Sometimes Henriques suggests different ways to make the toys, such as using different material.

There aren’t instructions on how to play with these toys. Again, the author is truly encouraging imaginative play. Several of the toys are also small enough to fit into a mint can or other box for easy toting around. Waiting for a meal in a restaurant? Pull out the portable zoo or box full of trucks.

Color photos of each toy and full-size templates for the designs are included. In addition to written instructions, each step of creating is also drawn in simple pictures. These picture steps help young non-readers make their own toy.

Henriques’ creations have been inspired and tested by his own children as well as nieces and nephews.  Rather than inventions from an adult, these toys and how-tos really have children in mind.

Joel Henriques has created a winner. Order the book now and be among the first to have fun along side your child or grandchild. Please leave the nagging adult behind.

For more creative toys and imaginative play ideas, go to Joel Henriques’ website made by Joel!

Preview inside the book 

Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations

Joel Henriques
Trumpeter
$18.00
ISBN: 978-1590309124

(Some links in this post are affiliate links.)

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