Make Magazine – The Toys and Games Issue

Geek Culture

Make Magazine is always a delight for people who like to tinker. And the projects they write about always contain an element of fun and surprise. But if you haven’t picked up a copy before, now is the time. The current issue, Volume 28, focuses on DIY toys and games.

The sophistication of toys you can buy off the shelf this time of year is amazing. But judging by the worldwide interest in Jonathan Liu’s posts on turning everyday objects into playthings, making your own toys seems to have an appeal as well.

Although many of the articles in Make are written for those who have experience working with power tools and electronics, I was particularly pleased to see a story about Arvind Gupta, creator of the “Toys from Trash” website. I have often scanned Gupta’s website looking for ideas when putting together workshops that combine art and science for younger kids.

Gupta, who lives in India, got his start teaching engineering principles to kids as part of a national program to revitalize science education. He did it by showing them how to make toys out of common wares available in a village market. Several of his projects are shown, and there are videos and instructions on the Makezine website.

Also in the issue are directions for building an ingenious Mini Foosball Game that involves only a cardboard box, paper clips and straws. And one project I have been meaning to try for several years is a homebrew Van de Graaff Generator. There’s a how-to for a simple model using a soda can and PVC pipe that I might finally get around to attempting sometime soon. Of course, there are plenty of more advanced projects, including several by GeekDad’s own John Baichtal.

Make Volume 28, “Toys and Games,” is available now on newstands and at It costs $14.99.

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