Manual Training — Play Problems (1917)

This charming DIY book from 1917 presents a manual training in what the author William S. Marten terms "constructive-play" (which is opposed to the "destructive-play" tendency). Various guides are presented so that children can make or build at home, covering such things as kaleidoscopes, spinning tops, and slingshots as well as birdhouses, rattlers, stilts, and miniature furniture made out of cigar boxes. Marten realised the instructions had to be simple enough for a child to understand them without the aid of an adult, and also that the tools and materials should be such as the child was used to or could easily access at home. He also gives a list of where useful materials can be collected, and each project has both photographs and illustrations showing how to build it.

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