A public library isn’t usually the place where you envision pounding hammers, snapping rubber bands or wads of tissue flying through the air.
But that’s exactly what kids and their caregivers found Sunday afternoon at the Sand Creek Library as they got a lesson in building their own wooden toys.
“I normally think of Home Depot for this kind of stuff,” said Zeff Gordon, 10. “But I guess any place is possible.”
About 25 youngsters and their parents or guardians showed up to get a lesson in toy making from Bob Gilsdorf, local author of the book “Zany Wooden Toys that Whiz, Spin, Pop and Fly.”
He’s an electrical engineer by day but has been inventing wooden toys with his five sons for the past 18 years. The book is an accumulation of the various projects they’ve made together.
Well, most of the projects, anyway.
“It’s only the toys that worked,” he said. “There were quite a few that didn’t make the cut.”
He’s put on about four similar events in libraries throughout the area.
He said they’re popular in the libraries because while the kids are having fun, they’re also learning about the invention process, physics and even aerodynamics.
On Sunday, the kids screwed and hammered precut pieces of wood into tissue-launching crossbows, a cool name for a contraption that uses a rubber band and a clothespin to send tissue balls flying.
Andrew Miller, 11, was excited to be working with tools. He built a birdhouse once but hasn’t had any new projects since it broke, he said.
His mom, Connie Miller, said she was just happy he could have fun.
“It’s nice that they can come to the library and they build something but receive an education at the same time,” she said.
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