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!

 

How to Make Simple Articulated Robots with Kids

Build a simple articulated wooden robot! It is a great engineering project to teach kids how articulation works and a perfect woodworking project for beginners. My kids have a lot of toys. When I've just tripped over one, I tend to think they have too many. Still,...

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...

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...

DIY Outdoor Play Kitchen from an Old Shelf

After a long and snowy winter, our backyard looked desolate, but we didn't feel discouraged. Instead, we embraced the chance to give it a makeover. In no time, dreaming and planning was in full swing.  "Here we'll put a sandbox, and there'll be a waterwall! We'll...

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. We have two tutorials for building puppet theatres:

– a cardboard puppet theatre you will print, glue and colour: a simple project and a hit with kids since they can customize it any way they want

– a vintage-inspired wooden puppet theatre: a more involved project, but also one that can become a family heirloom

 

Make a Simple Puppet Theatre from Cardboard

Print our puppet theatre pattern, then make a simple cardboard puppet theatre at home! Kids will love colouring and customizing it before giving a performance with their favourite puppets. I think that once in a while we all want to try ourselves at a new creative...

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...

Ocean Life Shadow Puppet Set

Study marine life and the science of light and shadows with kids, using these sea-themed shadow puppets! You can cut them yourself or buy a set. Two years ago, I wrote about our first shadow puppet performance at home. Back then, our son was just watching them, but as...

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...

How to Make Shadow Puppets at Home

If you want to start a shadow puppet theatre at home, you will need to make shadow puppets! I think that once in a while we all want to try ourselves at a new creative enterprise. I don't really want to be an actress, but I do like playing a game of charades. I don't...

The Fox and the Crane: Shadow Puppets with Printables

Today I am participating in the Rockstar Sunday series over at Teach Mama. Making shadow shows can be very easy. Sometimes fairy-tales and fables have just a couple characters, and what makes them exceptional is the interaction between two. The Fox and the Crane - one...

The Princess and the Pea: Shadow Puppet Show

Adventure in a Box is participating in the Story Book Summer series over at Rainy Day Mom. Every article of the series features a story book and related craft or game. This week the theme is fairy-tales, and I chose The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen....

Three Little Pigs: Shadow Puppet Play with Free Printables

Based on the famous fairy-tale, these printable shadow puppets will let your kids make their version of Three Little Pigs and stage a shadow play at home or in the classroom! The Three Little Pigs is one of my son's favourite fairy-tales. There are these three...

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…

Amazing Women in History: Printable Dress-Up Paper Dolls

Amazing Women in History Dress-Up Dolls feature printable costumes of twenty women who have changed the world. Print, cut and learn about twenty inspiring heroines. One of the many reasons I like using paper dolls for teaching is because they make it easy for kids to...

Free Printable Santa Claus Dress-Up Paper Doll

Make a Santa-Claus dress-up doll with this free printable design, then change his costume and he's a Christmas elf! Christmas is swiftly approaching now, and our paper dolls have a few more costumes for the coming season!  With these free printable costumes, they can...

Anatomy Printable Paper Doll for Kids

Study the human body anatomy with kids by making a set of printable anatomy paper dolls, with each layer showcasing a different body system! What is inside of me? How does my body work? What is this part of me doing? Most kids are genuinely fascinated with their...

Pirate Dress-Up Paper Dolls: Free Printable Craft

Dress up these free printable paper dolls as pirates and throw a pirate party for kids! It's really a bit of a mystery how pirates, as rugged and violent bunch as they are, gained so much popularity! My guess is, they offer an escape to all the people who dream of...

School Uniforms Around the World: Printable Dress-Up Paper Dolls

Explore cultural diversity with kids by getting our printable paper dolls ready for school and dressing them up in a variety of school uniforms around the world! It is always fascinating to learn what is different about life in other parts of the world. Ever since I...

Countries & Capitals of the World: Memory Matching Game

Countries & Capitals of the World is a printable memory game designed to help children and adults with learning the countries of the world, their capitals and their flags.  Every country in the world has a flag as a symbol of their nation, and every country also...

Back to School Printable Paper Dolls

For a back-to-school craft, make a set of printable paper dolls with a wardrobe that will take them through a school year! Transition for going back to school can sometimes be tricky, especially for young children, who aren't used to spending so much time away from...

Mermaid Paper Dolls with Printable Templates

Make mermaid paper dolls from our printable templates! It's the perfect craft for a mermaid party - everyone can cut their own paper mermaid.  When I was young, I liked playing with paper dolls and even made my own. When I started homeschooling my children, I realized...

Animal Tracks: Printable Nature Game for Kids

Kids will love to play and learn from this printable educational matching game, which teaches how to match animals with their tracks and where to find them! Most animals do not want to come in close contact with humans, but if you learn to notice and recognize their...

Bird Pairs: Printable Memory Match Game for Kids

Play this printable bird identification game by matching male and female birds and making bird pairs! This game would be a great gift for bird enthusiasts of all ages, introducing children to the concept of bird spotting and identification. After playing this bird...

Printable Board Game for Kids to Learn about Emotions

EMOTIONS is a fun printable board game for kids and adults to play together! Players will be challenged to act, discuss and imagine, while learning all about emotions and each other. Now that my kids are of the board game playing age, and we have begun our collection...

 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

How to Make a Stuffed Animal from a Drawing… Without Sewing!

Make a stuffed animal from a drawing... without sewing! The simple needle felting project will allow you to create a special keepsake for your child. You know those companies that turn children's drawings into stuffed animals? I always find the results absolutely...

DIY Rainbow Unicorn Spring Horse Makeover

Give a makeover to an old spring horse and turn it into a bouncy rainbow unicorn. It is a fun upcycling project for kids and a magical addition to any backyard space! The old spring horse has been with us for a few years. It had some exciting life even before coming...

Make a DIY Fairy Door from Craft Sticks & Rocks

Add a little bit of everyday magic to your playroom by making a fairy door to go on a baseboard! All you really need is craft sticks, pebbles and glue. It's refreshing to add a little bit of magic into everyday family life! Sometimes we have a family dinner by...

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...

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,...

DIY Dinosaur Eggs: Hunt & Hatch

When my husband proposed to me, I had to go on a wedding ring hunt, and with such a promising start, treasure hunts have become a tradition in our family. Sometimes, for holidays, we hide gifts for each other to make the pleasure of opening them last, and for...

Dinosaur Hobby Horse: DIY Project

Around a one-year-old boy, vehicles start multiplying in the house, as if appearing out of thin air. (Seriously! I only remember buying two myself, and all of a sudden we have several dozen.) With a two-year-old boy, the roars of dinosaurs fill the playroom. This new...

25 DIY Toys from Nature

Do your kids like collecting rocks, branches and moss? These awesome nature finds can be turned into fun DIY toys! After months of bleak winter, I have to constantly remind myself that under the feet of snow grass is getting ready to grow again. The last month, it was...

DIY Toys for Kids from Recyclable Materials

When children are bored, there is nothing like contents of a recycling bin to quickly stir up some fun easy projects! ...Or some elaborate ones. It depends on how carried away you get. Just today, my husband and son spent their evening, pretending that a cardboard box...

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft

Make the very hungry caterpillar from polymer clay! It's a suitable craft for older kids and adults who would like to get a feel of polymer clay.  The good old Very Hungry Caterpillar... Like other children over the last forty five years, my son made the caterpillar...

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