When Afton was born, the first toy I actually made for him was a teething (gumming) ring, but the first toy I decided to make for him was a “lawnmower” noisemaker walking toy. So, for the celebration of his first Unboxing Day, I decided to build him one.

Unlike Roci, I didn’t have a set of plans for this one. The same person who did the rocking horse plans I used does make a noisemaker walking toy which is stunningly beautiful, but I decided I would rather make something in a simpler style–hence the traditional (not to say overdone) “ball in cage” style.

Except for the dowels, the wood in this is all scrap left over from constructing bookshelves in our family room. (Yes, I put live-edged cherry bookshelves in our family room. They’re beautiful.) What I should have done was use an arbored hole saw to cut the wheels; what I actually did was trace a circle, then cut it on the scroll saw and (ab)use the bench sander to round the wheels. This worked surprisingly well in the end! The dowel holes are a bit off-kilter, but as long as they’re in the same place on both wheels (achieved using double-sided tape) it doesn’t matter for the project.


The dowels are cherry as well, and the dowel-to-board joints are crossed with dowels to provide strength vs torque (because children’s toys need to take a real beating, and I didn’t want a simple glue joint to fail spectacularly). As usual for my work, it’s a Tung oil finish, and as always the before-finishing and after-finishing photos look like a magic trick.

Before After

With such a simple design, it does make a lovely noise. Afton plays with it occasionally, but it’s not a real favorite; ah, children.