We made this toy with a cork, two bottle tops and a random bit of old packing styrofoam from the recycling bin. With thesewe used, a wee bit of stick (could use a cooks match with the head cut off), a sheet of white craft foam (cardboard would work too) and one of the wooden spoons I have in the craft stuff (you can get a three pack from the dollar store and sometimes we make puppets with them) Here are all the bits...First of all I cut out the craft foam into two sides of a duck shape, with two wings and two feet. The kids set about colouring these while I put together the structure of the toy with an exacto knife and a glue gun. I've made a copy of the duck shapes that I drew in case anyone wants to make one too. Just click on the thumbnail below and save the full resolution jpg. It's US letter sized, so if you're printing A4 then select "fit to page" when printing, or you'll have bits cropped off.
To make the very simple mechanics of the toy I first stuck the wooden spoon into the styrofoam and glue gunned it in place at the angle that I wanted the handle to be. Then I cut off two circles from the cork that were about 1cm thick and stuck a skewer through them for the axle to go into. Then I glue gunned the cork pieces into the center of the bottle caps and used the skewer to poke a hole in the styrofoam for the axle to go through. glued the axle into one wheel, threaded it through the styrofoam and glued the other wheel on the other side. Easy peasy.Here are the duck pieces after the kids had coloured them in. Great by the way if you have two kids, because each kid gets an identical body, wing and foot to colour, so no fighting! Then all I had to do was glue on the ducky decoration and it was ready for action! The feet were glued at right angles to the circumference of the wheel and they were placed on opposite sides of each wheel (6 o'clock and 12 o'clock), so they moved in a right, left, right, left stepping motion. Here's a quick vid showing the flippy floppy action of the feet.
If you offset one wheel high up on the axle and one low down then you will get a wiggling sort of walk, which would be very cute for a waddling duck. I'm thinking of making another of a frog, but offsetting both wheels high on the axle and having the two feet glued at the same o'clock in the hopes that it would produce a hopping effect.
Cheap as chips and when they kids don't want to play with it anymore, you just put all the parts back in the recycling and reclaim your wooden spoon.
So come on, what is this toy called? They must have been around for hundreds of years! They can't just be called wheelie stick toys surely?