It seems that the kick off of Ladybird Tuesday appealed to quite a few of you last week and I'm delighted that Lemon Layer Cake and Mrs Fox are also hoping to join in – check out LLC's post on Florence Nightingale from last week.
This week's book is probably one of the most well known of the old Ladybird titles – The Ladybird Book of Things to Make. The cover of this has been reproduced on notebooks, mugs and even as a gift activity tin in the past few years.
The orginal book was first published in 1963 and was the first title in series 633, Hobbies and Interests. In the days before children had televisons and games consoles in their bedrooms Ladybird published a whole series of books giving children clear instructions for various crafts and hobbies, ranging from knitting to swimming. This book describes itself as "a book which provides 24 safe and fascinating answers to the question children ask on occassions – 'Mummy, what can I do?' " and there is a lovely, innocent and vintage feel to the projects that it contains.
Some of the materials included in the projects may be hard to come by nowadays, but the projects can easily be adapted to take account of what you may have around the house instead. Unlike some of the modern day craft projects that require you to have certain things in the craft cupboard these projects, like many I remember from childhood, are much more focussed on making use of old things that you may have around the house. Once I've got the relevant photos from Mr C's phone I hope to be able to show you the attempt he and LMC had at making a mask after seeing instructions in this book.
The page on potato printing is obviously something that hasn't aged much, but I have to admit that it's not something that I've even thought to try with Little Miss C – I will be doing though. One project that does really age the book though is suggestion that a child could make an ashtray when doing some clay modelling – the accompanying picture even includes an (unlit) cigarette on the edge of such an ashtray. Once again there's no way that that would be included in a modern day book.
I've been lucky enough to get my hands on several titles from this series and I hope to be able to share them with you over the weeks to come here on Ladybird Tuesday.
If you have a collection of old Ladybird books then please feel free to join in with Ladybird Tuesday. There are no formal rules to follow, just leave a link to any post you write in the comments below and if you're feeling kind link back to my Ladybird Tuesday category here on Being Mrs C. Thanks!