Saturday, August 11, 2007

Free Printable Toy Downloads


Before I gave birth to my son in 2003 I was an avid crafter. I painted, sewed, sculpted, and dyed my way into blissful relaxation on a regular basis. There is something wonderfully cathartic about working with your hands. Unfortunately, small children are not always patient observers of the creative arts and parents aren’t always interested in creating macaroni necklaces. With limited time (and limited resources) I found myself looking for a quick craft fix that would satisfy my needs.

To work into my busy schedule any potential project would have to be easy to start and quick to finish. I could only commit ten or fifteen minutes at a time to crafting.
A potential project would also have to be cheap. Gone are the days of having disposable income that I could devote to a myriad of materials and tools. Also, considering the penchant that my son has for investigating my treasures, it is just wasn’t practical to have a significant amount of money invested in crafts.

I tried out quite a few different crafts before finally coming across the idea of paper toys on the blog Paper Forest. With only my computer printer, paper, a little PVA glue, and a pair of scissors (all of which were items I already had in my home) I was ready to go. Plenty of free patterns are available for download online and they range from simple paper toys to highly complex paper automata with moving parts.

My first creation was a Fickr Monkey. This free paper toy download is available at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/flickrmonkey/ and comes in a variety of bright and happy colors. Flickr Monkey also has a few friends including Flickr Bird and Flickr Dog. Flickr Monkey was easy to assemble (it took about fifteen minutes) though it could have had a few more instructions. I have plans to use Flickr Monkey as a place card holder for my son’s monkey themed birthday party in August.

Later I ran into Ready Mech. Ready Mech paper toys are infamous across the net for their unique designs and easy construction. I now have a huge collection of completed Ready Mech toys. My son loves them and each one provided me with no less than 10 minutes of bliss. Ready Mech free paper toy downloads are available at:
http://www.readymech.com/
If you prefer something with a more classical look check out The Toy Maker. These paper toys are very simple to construct and feature wonderful fairy tail themed images. They are enchanting. Toy Maker toys are usually the first ones in my home to be handled by guests because of their intriguing designed and beautiful illustrations. Toy Maker free paper toy downloads are available at:
http://www.thetoymaker.com/

Artist Helping Children has a plethora of free paper toy downloads suitable for children’s activities, learning aides, and general mischief making. Aside from children’s toys there are quite a few models more suited to adult crafters. Their list is quite an extensive collection of free downloads so make sure to book mark their site:
http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/artscraftsideaskids/3dfoldingmodelspapercrafts.html

Before you know it you will have a huge collection of paper toys that you can use to make mobiles, as card holders, holiday decorations, to give as gifts, and to let your children play with. Each one will represent a moment of peace and t
ranquility that you gave yourself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a great resource. I have forwarded your page to my teacher friends. These are fantastic downtime, thinking time activities. Ann