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Theo's puzzle board

A baby toy should engage the baby's attention, give him a challenge that will help him master a skill, offer some creative options, and be fun to play with. I designed this puzzle board using the letters of his name and four small animals that he would soon begin to recognize. The pieces challenge shape recognition and eye/hand coordination. All the puzzle pieces can be used in other play. I cut out the pieces on the bandsaw, and wood-burned in the animal shapes.

The new challenge I faced in making a baby toy was to make sure that it was not going to hurt the baby. That meant it had to be sturdy, have no sharp edges and have non-toxic finishes. I dyed the pieces with food coloring, using white vinegar to fix the colors, and gave them a final sanding with 1000 grit sandpaper. The frame I oiled and waxed.

Finish: Oil and wax, dyed with food coloring

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