Yesterday I made some more wooden animals so there would be a complete set.  The parts are interchangeable, so it’s possible to make many different creatures.  I had a lot of fun trying them out before the kids got up from their nap.

Also, a lot of people have asked what I finish my wooden pieces with.  I use a food grade bees wax polish by Three BEEautiful Bees.  You can buy it here, and many other places.  Just rub it on with your fingers.  It’s great for the skin, and smells like honeycomb.

36 Responses
  1. Phyllis

    What wonderful toys. I love simple toys that encourage imagination. I love your blog! It is a blessing.

  2. Anonymous

    What kind of wood did you use? Love this idea! Going to try and get my husband to try these out….Renee

  3. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone!

    Anonymous – The wood I used is just a thin plywood. You can find small sheets of it at almost any lumber store. It's also very easy to cut. You could use a hand coping saw, but I used an old electric scroll saw. You could also use a jig saw or whatever you want. Scroll saws are great though for this sort of thing.

  4. Ainsley

    After seeing your first one I did a few of these myself last week, we made an elephant, a giraffe and a zebra.

  5. Joel Henriques

    Ainsley – Cool! Let me know if you take a photo, so I can see it on your blog. The animals you chose sound great!

  6. Sharolyn

    Hi Joel,
    It seems like your children must be spoilt for lovely things to play with. Do they have favourite older toys you've made that they always go back to? I'm also curious, do you try and pass on or recycle old toys as you make more, or do you have an ever-increasing collection that you just keep adding to? Thanks for sharing. Sharolyn

  7. Joel Henriques


    Sharolyn – Good questions. Yes, the kids have favorite toys. A lot of the favorites are soft sewn toys like my dolls and animals because they like to sleep with them every night. They also love the yo yo balls quite a bit.

    And yeah, I have a lot of nieces and nephews so they get toys too, but I do have a very large drawer in my studio where I put toys that are out of rotation.

  8. jagulor

    Fantastic Joel, you have really been making some very relaxed conceptual objects for your children. I just blogged about your work. I find you very inspiring are excited you have a book deal, and love how others are contributing. I am a teacher and love the way the trees idea was adapted for kids. Well done Joel.

    PS: My blog (((((((((((((((((( ))))))))))))))))))))

    xx Kym

  9. Shari

    My kiddos are all teens now, but this blog makes me ache for my toddlers again-reading it and looking at these pictures creates a blissful melting pot of memories within me. A transcendental state of pure joy of which I could stay in for hours. Thank you, please keep creating this magical environment.It is touching. I will be following this blog and look forward to seeing even more wonderful ideas.

  10. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everybody!

    elsabags – I'm working on it!

    jeremiahsniece – you did a fantastic job making those! very nice!

  11. katka

    Man, you are a genius. I have just discovered your blog and now wish I had kids so that I could try all of your stuff with them :D

  12. Aly

    I am your newest FAN and am soooo excited about your wonderful ideas for our two littlies! I've just read through this year's whole blog and still have all of 2009 to read! YEAH!!

    1. Thanks everyone!

      Heather – It varies on each animal, but basically, the slots are half the length of the entire joint. (if that makes sense.) Just try it out, and experiment, and you’ll see very quickly. It’s really easy.