There is still plenty of time to make Christmas gifts. This week I have another classic toddler toy: the duck pull toy. And this is an instance where is really is cheaper to make something rather than buy. All you need are some scraps of 1.5″ thick wood. I used a piece of 2×7 redwood. If you don’t have a board this wide, you can glue together a couple of 2x4s. Or you could laminate a couple of pieces of 3/4″ plywood.
The mama duck has 2″ diameter wheels and the babies have 1.5″ wheels. I bought these at a craft store rather than try to make them. Cutting twelve perfect circles would pose all sorts of challenges I didn’t want to contend with. Sometimes it makes a lot more sense to buy parts rather than making.
I glued the wheels onto the ends of 1/4″ dowels I used for the axles. To ensure they spin easily, I reamed out the holes a little wider with a drill bit by wiggling it back and forth.
To cut out the ducks, print out the templates in the plans at full size and stick them to the wood using spray adhesive. Let the glue dry for a minute before attaching the paper to the wood. This will allow it peel off easily.
I cut out the shapes using my band saw, but you could also use a hand-held jigsaw. I had some 1/4″ plywood scraps I used for the wings, which I attached to the bodies with glue and a couple of brad nails.
It’s a lot easier to paint the ducks if you spray on a coat of white primer first. Then hit them with a couple coats of yellow spray paint. I painted in the faces using acrylic craft paints. I’ve included a painting guide on the plans, or you can give them whatever faces you want! After all the painting is done, spray on a couple coats of clear glossy spray lacquer. This gives the toy a nice, finished look and protects it from scratches. I left the wheels unfinished.
Tie a the ducks together with a few lengths of rope or cord and you are done!
Free duck pull-toy plans