During the war, production of children’s toys was virtually stopped, so children had to learn to make due with what they had. Husband also grew up this way, so he can be a great resource for on the spot toy ideas. Now that we live somewhere again where there are chestnut trees, this has become a routine autumn activity in our house.
Every year, Husband and Daughter sit down and make chestnut creatures out of chestnuts (obviously) and matchsticks. As Daughter gets older, she helps more and more, and she is usually the source for the initial ideas.
Here was a “Daddy, make me a horse”.
And, “Daddy, make me a caterpillar”.
And finally, “Daddy, make me a pig”, although Husband swears it’s a goat.
Husband says the trick to making these is to drill the hole first with an appropriate-sized nail, and then to push the matchsticks in. He also breaks off the tips to use for eyes and whatnot. These chestnut creatures will last a good few weeks, except that they can come apart with rough play. This is not such a problem though, since Husband just takes Daughter out chestnut hunting, and they make more creatures.