Thursday 27 February 2014

Making Excalibur

For the craic I typed “brain stimulating toys for babies” into a search engine.  Wow!  Just wow!

Toys for your 1 month old baby.  50 simple ways to make your baby smarter.  Toys for gifted babies.  Boosting brain function.  Choosing the right toy.  To mention but a few.

I remember when Oldest Boy was new to this world he received a gorgeous present of monkeys.  They had black and white stripes and were to be dangled over his cot, buggy or bouncer.  The intent was to develop his brain through visual stimulation.

Fast forward several years and three more boys later, do you know what has stimulated our boy’s visual and physical growth?

Pots and pans from the kitchen press.  Empty shampoo bottles.  Sticks and rocks from the garden.  Decanting stones from a bucket into an empty beer bottle.   A large pile of sand in the front of the house.

What child doesn’t shun what they are “supposed” to play with in favour of cooking utensils and a basin of water with some bottle tops for boats?

And if you have boys in the house, did you have that head wrecking conversation about whether or not to ban toy guns and weapons of every description.  Was implementing an embargo on violent cartoons a decision you made?

I am here to tell you, boys will create a weapon out of almost anything.  They’re talented like that.

I do my best to control the emergence of bad language but I am guilty of this at times myself so I explain to them words aren’t bad.  It is how they are used that is harmful and wrong. 

When I see two of our boys mucking about with the spatulas and fish slices, having a sword fight, I don’t intervene. 

A big, huge part of me believes boys should have a gun (with caps) and a sword to play with.

Oldest Boy has a strong belief in this area too and spent the mid-term break pestering Mister Husband to make him a sword.

So he did.

If you would like to try making one, here are some very simple directions.       

Draw sword on board

·       Draw a sword on a piece of board.  Pine board, skirting board whatever you have to hand. Hard wood is better as it is stronger and will survive clashes. (maybe an old hurl)

·     Use a coping saw (pictured) to cut out shape of sword.  This saw is readily available in any hardware store.

coping saw

·         Use a rasp/heavy file (pictured) to shape the sword.

·         Sand down using a very coarse sandpaper.  Then change to one with a finer grit to finish off.

Mister Husband used a vice to hold the sword as it was being made.  If you don’t have a vice, a quick release clamp is perfect. 

Quick release clamp in blue

The boys are having great fun with their swords.  They are light and easy to handle but have already suffered some casualties. 

The finished weapons toy swords

Serious clashes will do that.

Have fun with yours!

P.S.  Please refrain from telling your child that with great power comes great responsibility.  It doesn't go down well!


  1. LOVE!!! I'm delighted you blogged this. Thank you! xxx

    1. Thank you for your suggestion! You have also reminded me of your request. I hope the blog is simple enough to follow as the PDF does not seem to be forthcoming at the moment. It really was a "draw from mind's eye" sword.