Duck Push Toy

In this project, you will make a child’s push toy. The toy is suitable for children up to 2 or 3 years of age. The completed toy will be similar to the one shown below.

This project is rated: DIFFICULT

Materials needed:
  • Wood, (3/4″ or thicker)
  • 1.5″ diameter Wood Ball
  • Computer paper (or card stock)
  • Dowel rod, 1/4 inch, >6 inches long
  • Jigsaw
  • Electric drill and bits
  • Hole Saw
  • Sand paper
  • 1/4″ by 20 Bolt
  • 2 or 4 Nuts
  • 4 Flat washers
  • Wood glue
  • Paint
Duck push toy

You can purchase individual hole saws in various sizes, or you can buy a kit that contains various sizes of saws. A kit will consist of a quarter inch drill bit which is mounted through a circular metal plate. The plate has circular groves in it to accommodate several different size saws that are included. These saws usually range in size from 0.75 inch in diameter to 2.5 inches in diameter. For this project, we will use the 0.75 inch size, the 1.0 inch size, and the 2.0 inch size.

Hole Saw Kit

Project Instructions

The steps requiring power tools should be done by an experienced adult.

  1. Print the pattern for the body of the duck.
  2. Cut out the duck pattern and trace it onto a suitably sized piece of wood.
  3. Cut out the body using a jig saw, saber saw, or hand-held coping saw.
  4. Using a 2.5″ diameter hole saw, cut out two wheels.
  5. Drill a 1/2″ diameter hole in the back of the duck body at an angle of about 45 degrees to a depth of 1 inch.
  6. Prepare a handle using a 1/2″ dowel rod. Cut the dowel to 18″ (or longer depending on the child’s height)
  7. A 1.5″ round wood ball can be obtained at a craft store. Drill a 1/2″ diameter hole in this ball about 1/2″ deep.
  8. Sand and paint the pieces before doing any assembly. Optionally, the wood could be stained or left bare. Paint the duck body, handle, and wheels using the colors that you choose.

When the paint is dry, it is time to assemble the toy.

You can use any thickness of wood to make this toy. In the example shown, 2″ (actual 1.5″) thick wood was used in order to give the toy side-to-side stability.

Push duck pattern

Assembly Instructions

  1. Glue the ball onto one end of the dowel. Glue the other end of the dowel into the hole in the duck’s back.
  2. In the materials list, I did not specify the length of the bolt needed as an axle. The length depends on the thickness of the wood used for the body and wheels. The illustrated toy has a piece of 1/4″ by 20 threaded rod that is 6 inches long used for the axle. If you use a threaded rod, put two nuts on one end and tighten them together. If you are using a machine bolt, it will have a head on one end.
  3. Put a flat washer on the axle; then a wheel; then a flat washer; then pass the axle through the body; then a flat washer; then the second wheel; then a flat washer; then two nuts tightened together. (Do not tighten the nuts against the wheel. The wheels must be able to turn freely.)

The toy is complete. Commercial toys similar to this one sometimes include a noise maker. The simplest noisemaker is to attach some small bells to the toy. The noisemaker is an option left to you.

Tags: birds | hole saw | toy
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