Wooden Toys to Make

Wood is a wonderful material for handmade toys!

Some of the projects we’ve built are really simple and only require some modification of a store-bought wooden block, so children can do the majority of the work themselves. Check the gradient wooden blocks and make-a-monster blocks.

Some projects suggest the use of a few basic woodworking tools. They’re excellent for introducing woodworking to children when they show interest. When they help making a toy, it becomes all the more special for them. Check the wooden robot buddy and the nature blocks.

Finally, some projects do require a few evenings to put together, but they’re well worth it! Check the fairy tree house and the viking play tent.

Below you will find more of our homemade toy projects!

 

DIY How to Make Tree House Blocks

These handmade tree house blocks open new opportunities for block play, allowing children to create natural-looking constructions and multi-levelled tree houses for fairies and forest creatures to settle in. My son loves building, so our collection of building toys...

DIY How to Make Peg Doll Fairies

Fairies are delicate creatures, right? Not this time. Our peg doll fairies are made from hardwood so that they can withstand rough toddler's play! We like wooden toys. When our kids were in their toy-gnawing stage, wood seemed a better bet than painted or plastic...

DIY Peg Doll Kings, Queens and Knights

When our latest project, a cardboard castle, was nearing completion, we realized that we didn't have anyone to settle it. That would never do, so out came the wooden peg dolls, paints and felt. In no time, we had wooden peg doll knights, kings and queens in the...

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 Simple Wooden Toy Boat: Woodworking for Kids

Looking for a toy project that a kid can make, then give to a sibling or a friend as gift? Or the first woodworking project to make with dad? Here is our idea on how to make a simple wooden toy boat from a scrap of wood. This post contains Amazon affiliate links for...

Penguin World: Build a Winter Sensory Bin

There are certain themes that seem inevitably popular among kids: dinosaurs, robots, and construction vehicles get a pretty universal love from the young generation. Boys are known for their adoration of vehicles, but there are plenty of girls who cannot walk past a...

DIY Music Table from Household Materials

What kid doesn't like making noise? Throw a few old instruments their way and and you will soon have something approximating music! If your instruments haven't done anything to deserve being passed off on a toddler, or if you just don't have any, they can be easily...

Homemade Puppet Theatre

Bring the magic of ancient theatre into your playroom! Let the children be spectators and watch the shadow story unravel, or let them take the roles of actors and directors to create their own world of shadow adventures.

I think that once in a while we all want to try ourselves at a new creative enterprise.  With our home shadow puppet theatre, all of us, including the kids, can try the roles of stage director, actor, screenwriter or special effects engineer. Our shadow puppet actors don’t take much space, because they all fit inside an envelope, but since they are made out of paper, we can create more any day! And we can tell stories the way we want and often do – like with one of our three pigs being a girl and the wolf coming to visit them for tea afterwards instead of being charred over the fire.

You can buy our shadow puppets here – or you can make them yourself, using our designs. This is a very detailed tutorial, featuring three ways you can make shadow puppets at home.

You will also need a shadow puppet theatre. You can always stretch parchment paper over an opening of a big cardboard box or a picture frame – or you can build a vintage-inspired puppet theatre, based on our tutorial.

 

Three Billy Goats Gruff: Shadow Puppet Play with Printables

Based on the Norwegian fairy-tale, these printable shadow puppets will let your kids make their version of Three Billy Goats Gruff and stage a shadow play at home or in the classroom!  Those old fairy-tales with their linear plots are really the best when it comes to...

Moon Chinese Legend Shadow Puppet Show for the Mid-Autumn Festival

Celebrate the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by staging a shadow puppet show based on the Chinese Moon legend that explains the origins and traditions of the festival. Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival happens in...

Beauty and the Beast Shadow Puppet Set

Inspired by the Beauty and the Beast fairy-tale, these printable shadow puppets will let the kids tell their version of the "tale as old as time"... When did you hear your first fairy-tale? For most of us, the date would be unknown because our acquaintance with...

Nativity Shadow Puppet Set for Christmas

Begin a new family tradition this Christmas. Stage a Nativity scene shadow puppet play with kids! A couple of years ago, I held a poll among my readers, asking what shadow puppet set they'd like to see me create. I got a lot of interesting answers. The one that popped...

Coral Reef Ocean Life Shadow Puppet Set

I started making the ocean life shadow puppet set a while back. Then I found out that Finding Dory is coming to the theatres this summer and got excited. It seemed like a good time to finish my craft before delving into new aquatic adventures. Two years ago, I wrote...

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...

Paper Toys to Make

If you have access to a printer, paper toys are great! All you need is print and cut, and children can often do the majority of the work themselves, so that the process of making a toy counts as crafting time. For siblings and groups of children, there is no problem of sharing, since everyone can have their own copy. And if the toy gets destroyed, it is easy to make another one!

Besides shadow puppets, we like making paper dolls and little printable games…

How to Make a Windmill Model with a Printable Pattern

Make a windmill model at home and hold an engineering study with children! With a printable template, building your own toy windmill is a quick and easy STEM activity. Windmills are fascinating machines, both aesthetically and technologically. For centuries, they have...

Flags of the World Bingo: Printable Game for Kids

Flag Bingo is a printable educational game that challenges children to learn and identify the flags of the world. Featuring the flags of 120 countries and with two ways to play, Flag Bingo is a fun supplement to teaching geography in preschool, kindergarten and grades...

Emotion Dress-Up Paper Doll Kit for Teaching Kids about Emotions

Did you play with paper dolls when you were a kid? This printable emotion paper doll operates on the same principle: only instead of dresses, she changes poses and expressions to convey a wide array of emotions and teach children to successfully read other people's...

Canadian Dress-Up Paper Doll with a Printable Template

Get an introduction to Canada for kids with these printable dress-up dolls! Four Canadian costumes include Anne of Green Gables, a hockey player, an Inuit and a Mountie. Since realizing that this year celebrates the 150th anniversary of Canada, I wanted to do...

DIY Valentine Foam Airplane with Printable Design

Looking for a non-sweet Valentine idea for kids? We loved making these airplanes - they come with a card, and they actually work!  Last week, we made a couple of foam glider airplanes, based on a real MIG-15 airplane. We played with, modified, and decorated them, then...

DIY Foam Glider Airplane with Printable Pattern & Design

Do your kids like foam glider airplanes? Craft a DIY version together at home! With a printable pattern, it's very easy. In my opinion, foam airplanes are on par with balloons for kids. Both are simple, but bring exuberant amount of fun to kids. Never last long...

 Other Handmade Toys

Here are all the rest of our projects!

  • Handmade textile toys: sewing & needlefelting projects.
  • Clay toys: polymer clay & air-dry clay toys
  • Upcycled toys: cardboard, paper rolls & other things that can be usually found in a recycling bin

DIY Rainbow Unicorn Hobby Horse

Making a rainbow unicorn hobby horse is a sure cure against February gloom! I have a few certain weaknesses. Chocolate. Moss. Lemons. Rainbows. When I am feeling positive, I call them my secret ingredients. If there is a way to squeeze them in a project, I won't miss...

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...

Woodland Meadow: DIY No-Sew Felt Play Mat

Have some odd felt scraps left from previous projects? Turn them into an enchanting woodland felt play mat! No sewing skills required. Trying a new craft is always an adventure. For years, I had a scrap of thick green felt lying in my fabric box, and when a group of...

DIY Make a Castle from Recyclable Materials

Chances are, you have a lot of packing tubes, paper towel and wrapping paper rolls, potato chip or nut containers in your recycling bin. We sure did. At least, until we decided to build a cardboard castle out of them, on account of those tubes looking so much like...

How to Build a Cardboard Spaceship

Moving into a new house was certainly an adventure, whether finding our way through the labyrinth of unpacked things or discovering that our bedroom was a nice spot for watching sunsets. You get lots of those in the land of living skies Saskatchewan! Our son also...

Craft Stick Art for Kids

It all started with a thump. I turned around and saw breadsticks scattering all over the kitchen floor and my son looking a little guilty with an empty plastic bag.  We started collecting the breadsticks back. That is, I was doing that, and when I looked at Budster,...

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