Some Projects from the Way Back Machine

Some Projects from the Way Back Machine

Richard Popovic
Jun 22, 2011

The 'good old days' is an amorphous concept, with the definition seemingly dependent upon your current age. The basic formula goes something like this: CA-X=10 yrs, with CA equaling 'Current Age' and 'X' equaling...well, I'm not really sure. My point is many of us look back upon the time we were around ten years old as a golden period of fun and freedom. Unrestricted play and unfettered creativity resulted in summers full of good times and a bit of mischief. See how easy it is to get nostalgic? I recently came across what could be the original handbook for keeping the 'good old days' alive, and it is full of interesting projects.

Over at Homeschool Freebie they have a free download of a book from the turn of the century called Practical Things to Build with Simple Tools. It is a wonderful glimpse into a past when kids wore knickers and caps and child safety was handled a bit more...loosely, to say the least. It is full of interesting old drawings and diagrams as well as instructions on how to build a large selection of toys and useful items. (If I were you I would focus on the quaint things like box kites and skip over the section on spring guns. Like I said, these were different times). One of the most interesting aspects of the entire book is the materials used. It not only stresses the re-use of packing crates and cigar boxes, there is also no mention of plastic! Hard to believe in today's world and a lesson for your kids on natural resources and technology. This free download is interesting on many levels and can inspire your crafty family all summer long.

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