Emmeline and I had a blast making a new toy, and we’ve spent the past week playing like crazy fools with the finished product. It’s a simple throwback balance board — just a scrap of any old wood and a tube underneath it. (Inspiration and better instructions here.)This toy really hit the sweet spot for me — a convergence of crafty, home made, easy, anti-commercialized and just plain fun. Plus, it’s actually difficult to master and it involves some falling (not nearly as much as I had hoped for, to be honest — it’s good for the soul to fall and get up again). This is the perfect rainy day craft and physical activity.All told, it took about an hour or so to make, from finding the wood, breaking out the circular saw and taping it all up. We used a scrap piece of wood from a bookshelf Emme and I are making, as well as a 10-inch piece of PVC pipe and a lot of duct tape. (I took Emme to the hardware store for the tape, letting her pick her favorite colors.) I simply cut tape strips and let her place them in any configuration she wanted. I should note that it’s best to tape over all the edges, maybe even twice. If you don’t the wood will cut into the carpet — not fun.But pretty much all you need is wood, a tube and some tape.And a lot of practice ….