Creating your own toys with common building materials.
With the economy swinging decidedly downward, and with draconian and unrealistic toy testing laws preventing thrift stores and auction sites from selling used toys for anything but collections hidden antiseptically behind class, what does one do to get a good low cost toy for kids to have tons of fun with? Why not make them with a few affordable items from the local Home Depot? PVC pipe is used mostly for landscaping and plumbing applications, but with a few plans found on the internet, some basic tools, and some time, you can built toys ranging from Marshmallow guns to Go Karts in an afternoon – and you can teach your kids to be inventive at the same time.
Now, first I gotta warn that some interest groups believe that PVC contains harmful chemicals and are seeking to have the plastic pipe substance banned. But I’ve seen little evidence that PVC pipe building into toys causes any harm to kids who play with. The Pipe’s are cheap and can be used quite effectively to build everything from movie screens to furniture, as well as plumbing and sprinkler systems. Here’s a few cool toys you can build in less then an hour with the shiney white pipe:
1. A Marshmallow Gun
– with comic book style plans by HOWTOONS, kids can build a blow dart style marshmallow shooter that fires multiple mini marshmallows with deadly accuracy. Two feet of pipe, a few elbows and t joints and about 10 minutes later you’re engaging in a fun firefight that could cost nearly $50 with a foam airsoft style gun.
2. There’s also the “Rola-Bola,” which let’s kids hang ten in their living room on rainy days by pretending to be on a surfboard build of a 3” PVC pipe and a slat of plywood. A few screws, a saw cut here and there and in about 20 minutes, kids are hanging ten.
3. Then there’s the “Hillbilly Golf.” (also known as Ladder Golf) This is a three tiered frame that acts as a kind of carnival game. Two golf balls with holes drilled into them and tied between with a piece of rope. The trick is to toss the balls in such a manner where they wrap around each crossbar. Believe me, it’s not as easy as it looks. And it can turn into a kind horshoe style game with a twist (no pun itended).
There are plans on the internet which more advanced PVC’ers may want to try. But be careful. Before long you’re making air powered sniper rifles and even musical instruments to while away a weekend!