Grandma’s toy chest
One of the fun ways I use to help bond my grandchildren to their ancestors is to play the games that my parents and grandparents played with when they were children. It is even more fun for the kids if they make the toys or games themselves. Here are the directions for a couple of favorites.
Poke a hole into the bottom of a plastic cup. It should be slightly smaller than the diameter of a pencil. Tie a 20-inch length of string to a small dowel or a pencil on the eraser end and tape over it or hot glue it in place. Pull the string through the hole then push the rod through the hole about one inch from the outside or bottom of the cup. Tape around the outside of the hole in the cup where the rod is inserted. This will help hold it in place.
Get a small piece of foil and lay the free end of the string onto the foil and tape it. Shape the foil into a ball around the end of the string. You can also use a button, bead or ping pong ball.
Alternatively, take a darning needle, thread it with string, poke it through the bottom of the cup from the outside then tie a knot at the end and either tape or glue the knot to the bottom of the cup. Use a foil ball, button or bead as above. My grandkids once used large marshmallows and ate them when they were done playing. Now try to get the “ball” in the cup by swinging it up and out and catching it in the cup. You can have contests to see who catches the most in a minute.
For a Whirly Gig or Buzz Saw, cut a string one yard long. The string is strung through a button or whirly gig’s two center holes, then the ends are tied. Butcher’s roast string is best. Large buttons the size of a silver dollar work better than wooden whirly gigs.
This game is played by placing your fingers in the ends of the loop of string with the button or whirly gig in the middle. Swing the whirly gig either away from you or toward you until the string winds up. As you pull both ends apart the whirly gig will spin. Pull the string apart again and keep pulling it alternating the whirly gig back forth like a buzz saw.