Our Story

We’re a Canadian family of four with a passion for creativity and learning. We like reading books, digging in the dirt of our garden, travelling, playing board games, having parties for our friends, going on nature hikes, and just generally exploring the world together with our children. 

This blog first came about to preserve memories of our favourite experiences as a family, but quickly turned into a collection of tutorials for handmade toys. As two crafters, we often feel compelled to express our affections through making things, and so our nursery quickly started filling with fairy tree houses, puppet theatres, and unicorn hobby horses. As soon as our children were old enough to stick their fingers in paint, we also started working on crafts together. But that was just the beginning of the blog. 

When our son was approaching school age, we decided that it would be interesting to explore homeschooling. The possibility for a child to learn what he wants, while having real-life experiences and making memories with us, seemed like a fantastic adventure. We gave it a go and rediscovered the pleasure of learning for ourselves as well. Since then, we’ve turned our blog into a hub for creative learning. 

We still make quite a few toys, but we give them an educational spin. Check out these anatomy paper dolls or this printable windmill model!

We design and print educational board games. Many board games give a lesson in math and critical thinking, and we always include another interesting topic of study – like our Amazing Women: Guess Who Game or Flag Bingo.

We try to include as many hands-on projects as possible, so that in the end our children will remember not just pages of books, but things they made themselves.

With our blog, we want to inspire adults and children to see every topic as an adventure and explore it through fun games and creative projects. 

2011

Got married!

2012

Opened an Etsy toy shop. Opened an armoury. Moved across Canada (from Saskatchewan to Ontario). Had our son. Very excited!

2014

Started the blog.

2016

Moved back across Canada (from Ontario to Saskatchewan). Bought a fixer-upper of a house. Had our daughter. So happy!

2017 

Started homeschooling our eldest. 

 

Our Crew

Liska

Liska

Mom & Idea Generator

Liska usually has about ten projects on the go with ten more in her head. Only a small portion of them get done, but life is never boring and sketchbooks never stay empty. Her preferred tool of the trade is a pencil since it works well both for writing and sketching – two of her favourite things to do. If she has a spare minute and can’t detect a pencil around, she’ll settle down for an hour of reading with good book and a bar of dark chocolate.

Jeffrey

Jeffrey

Dad & Builder

Jeffrey has a collection of twenty six hammers and sets a daily goal of making some creative use of them. He built his first wooden toy – a biplane constructed out of a clothespin – at the early age of seven, and has been going steady ever since. His family members think that he can figure out how to build just about anything and often take advantage of it (“Daddy, let’s make a TIE-fighter!”) When not making toys, Jeffrey works as an armourer in his backyard workshop. His other interests include history, hiking, and gardening.

Anselm

Anselm a.k.a Budster

Adventure Buddy & Senior Tester

What happens when a toy sits in the rain barrel over night, or how does it compare in speed to other toys racing down the stairs? We would probably never know if it weren’t for Anselm’s enthusiastic testing. Anselm was born in December 2012. As he matures, we are getting more suggestions for future projects from him. Anselm is very interested in drawing and engineering. When he grows up, he wants to build robots and spaceships.

Faye

Faye

Sweet Baby & Junior Tester

Born in May 2016, Faye is the last member of our crew. She is as enthusiastic as her older brother when it comes to testing our toys and ideas. Her main interests are animals, crayons and jumping off dressers. She is an adventurous spirit, but she gives very sweet hugs.

Our Favourite Projects

Make Miniature Pies with Kids: Bottle Caps & Polymer Clay Craft

Do you want to make food for your doll house inhabitants? Produce a batch of homemade party favours? Or simply looking for a new crafting challenge to work on together for kids? These miniature pies, made with bottle caps and polymer clay, would be a blast! I have...

DIY Wooden Gradient Blocks

Inspired by the Montessori colour tablets, we decided to make our own gradient blocks. At first, I thought that they'd be a sturdier version of paint samples for creating a handmade gradient puzzle, but they actually turned out to be a very open-ended toy! This post...

DIY Toy Wooden Barn

For our son's first birthday, we built him a toy wooden barn. Since then, it has gone through extensive play testing - indoors and outdoors, on both sides of the country. So we figured it's high time we showed it and offered some guidelines to anyone who feels...

DIY Balloon-Powered Wooden Toy Boat

Boats hold a special romantic appeal, for kids as well as grown-ups. Add to this a little scientific experiment, and we have a winner - a balloon-powered boat! In this post, you'll find a tutorial on how we made one. If you want to get one quickly, you can also get it...

DIY Wooden Robot Buddy

If you want to make a simple wooden toy with a minimum of tools or are looking for the first woodworking experience for older kids, try this robot! For an articulated wooden robot that you can build with older kids, check here! One morning, while Budster was still...

Make a Set of Wooden Coasters with Family Silhouette Portaits

Make a set of wooden coasters with portraits of your family members, and never forget which cup was whose again! Sadly, I was looking at the row of glasses and cups that once again lined up next to the sink. It seemed like for every plate in the house, I washed at...

Make the Shadow Puppets for The Gingerbread Man

In the winter, evenings are longer, so our family shadow puppet theatre opens more frequently. We decided to start the holiday season by staging a  familiar fairy-tale - The Gingerbread Man. The Gingerbread Man and Its Modern Interpretation The Gingerbread Man is not...

Make a Dollhouse in a Box: Simple, Portable and Fun

I have a particular regard for dollhouses. In my childhood, the two shelves in my room that served as a dollhouse held as much drama as the four volumes of War and Peace. When I got older, I was fascinated with the art of building miniature houses and expressing the...

How to Make a Puppet Theatre

Want to open a puppet theatre at home or in classroom? Here is our DIY tutorial on how to build a sturdy puppet theatre from wood! And if you're looking for a simple and quick solution for building a puppet theatre, check our printable puppet theatre design. When I...

How to Make Garden Markers by Painting Stones

Looking for a simple, cheap and cute solution for making garden markers? Try painting rocks! The post contains Amazon affiliate links for your convenience. Planting our garden last week, I was pondering the question that arises every spring - how to label my rows? I...

DIY Project: How to Make a Fairy Toy Tree House

For a quirky Waldorf-inspired uptake on a dollhouse, make a fairy tree doll house for kids from branches, wood and other natural materials! Lately, my son spent a long time, watching birds out of the window, and so he found some little bird figurines in his Easter...

Contact us!

Have questions about our tutorials? Or an idea of what you’d like for us to make? Send us an email, and we will get back to you as soon as we can!

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