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 Steampunk Wooden Robots

DIY Steampunk Wooden Robots

Introduce kids to woodworking by challenging them to create these whimsical steampunk wooden robots - from wood, screws and metal scraps! There is a certain appeal to a pile of loose hardware, wouldn't you say? All those nuts, bolts and little metal scraps seem so...

How to Make Simple Articulated Robots with Kids

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....

DIY How to Make Tree House Blocks

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

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

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

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

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...

DIY Balloon-Powered Wooden Toy Boat

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

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

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

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 Wood Robot Toy

DIY Wood Robot Toy

Do you want to make a wood robot toy? Or maybe looking for the first woodworking project for kids? Try this one! One morning, while our son was still sleeping, a surprise guest climbed onto his windowsill... "Wake up, Buddy! Look who's here!" The previous day, our son...

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

 

How to Make Shadow Puppets with Moving Parts

How to Make Shadow Puppets with Moving Parts

Learn how to make shadow puppets with moving parts and have playful shadow puppet duels with these articulated knight puppets! We love shadow puppets! Over the years, we have created many different shadow puppet templates. Some have been fairy-tales, others have...

Shadow Puppet Templates

Shadow Puppet Templates

A big collection of shadow puppet templates to print and make - setting up a shadow play at home will be easy and fun! Many children quickly learn how to play with shadows on the walls, using their hands. They tend to love any activity that is both full of innocent...

Printable Farm Animal Puppets

Printable Farm Animal Puppets

Printable farm animal puppets will be sure to give a new twist to familiar songs and nursery rhymes for kids! In our day and age, what significance do farm animals even hold for children? In fact, not so little. They're still important characters of many new picture...

Fairy Puppets

Fairy Puppets

Make fairy puppets with our printable shadow puppet templates and let your children stage a shadow puppet play, based on myths and folk stories about fairies! The idea of fairies always appealled to me. In my childhood, I remember dreaming of finding a little person,...

Social Stories with Puppets

Social Stories with Puppets

Prepare children for new social experiences by making social stories and acting them out with shadow puppets! Getting ready for a birthday party, talking about what to do when you get lost, or outlining the rules of behaviour on the playground? I bet that as a parent...

How to Make Colourful Shadow Puppets of Butterflies

How to Make Colourful Shadow Puppets of Butterflies

Learn an easy way to make colourful shadow puppets with kids! Making a set of vibrant butterfly shadow puppets and playing with light and shadows will be a great summer STEM project. At first, it may come as a surprise - colourful shadow puppets! Built on the stark...

Nursery Rhymes with Printable Shadow Puppets

Nursery Rhymes with Printable Shadow Puppets

Use these printable shadow puppets to stage a shadow puppet play for children, based on famous nursery rhymes! Mary Had a Little Lamb Nursery Rhyme Shadow Puppets First things first, what exactly is a nursery rhyme? Any traditional poem or song for children can be...

Town Mouse and Country Mouse Shadow Puppets

Town Mouse and Country Mouse Shadow Puppets

Using these printable shadow puppets, you can stage a shadow puppet play, based on the popular fairy-tale The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse! We are back with a new instalment of shadow puppets. Every year, we make a few more to add into our collection of printable...

Make a Simple Puppet Theatre from Cardboard

Make a Simple Puppet Theatre from Cardboard

Print our puppet theatre pattern, then make a simple puppet theatre from cardboard 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...

Three Billy Goats Gruff: Shadow Puppet Play with Printables

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...

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

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...

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…

Printable Board Games

Printable Board Games

Printable board games for kids make learning a fun and engaging experience! We enjoy playing board and card games. It is a good multi-generational experience, and there is always an aspect of creativity, logical thinking or strategical planning involved. Additionally,...

Free Printable Dollhouse Birthday Pack

Free Printable Dollhouse Birthday Pack

Use the free printable dollhouse birthday pack and surprise your child with a creative dollhouse transformation in honour of their birthday! Before turning four, our daughter started counting the days to her birthday two weeks in advance. It was possibly the first...

Free Printable Summer Paper Dolls

Free Printable Summer Paper Dolls

Get these free printable paper dolls ready for summer with a set of light and colourful summer clothes! Having already tried winter and spring/autumn clothes, our paper dolls are heading into summer with a new set of free printable clothes. What do we wear in the...

Diverse Paper Dolls

Diverse Paper Dolls

Select a free printable paper doll that looks like you, from a new big pack of diverse paper dolls! You can also colour your very own. When reading books, watching cartoons, and playing with toys, children naturally gravitate towards characters they can relate to....

Endangered Animals Game

Endangered Animals Game

Our Endangered Animals game introduces kids to the topic of endangered species, threats to their survival, and efforts being made to protect them. Many animals that live on Earth right now are considered endangered. There are currently more than 31,000 species on the...

Printable Word Games

Printable Word Games

Use over 100 cards with family-friendly categories and play these three free printable word games. Fun for kids and adults! Word games are among our family's favourites. They're fun and versatile. Different ages can participate, to the best of their abilities. And...

Printable Activities for Kids

Printable Activities for Kids

Need a quick and easy play idea? Pick one of these 100 fun printable activities for kids! When my kids were younger, we had a soft spot for wooden toys of heirloom quality and particular indestructibility. But now? Over the last couple of years, printable toys have...

What Bird Am I: Game

What Bird Am I: Game

What Bird Am I? is a printable game of bird deduction, where players are attempting to deduce the identity of their opponent's bird, by asking questions and using a key of twenty four birds. Birds are a very diverse and fascinating group! They come in all colours -...

Bird Bingo Printable Game

Bird Bingo Printable Game

This bird bingo printable game features 48 species of birds from around the world. With beautiful watercolour illustrations and multiple levels of complexity, it will bring joy to bird enthusiasts of all ages! Spot all kinds of birds—from a sparrow to a bald eagle and...

100+ Printable Paper Dolls

100+ Printable Paper Dolls

Paper dolls lend themselves to a variety of themes, and we have over 100 printable paper doll templates for different occasions. Did you play with paper dolls when you were little? I remember enjoying these simple toys immensely, not least because I could customize...

Free Printable Winter Paper Dolls

Free Printable Winter Paper Dolls

Get these printable paper dolls ready for winter with a free set of warm and festive winter clothes! What's winter like, in the way of clothes? Well, that depends on where one lives... But, overall, in many northern places , it's usually colder than the rest of the...

Christmas Guess Who Game

Christmas Guess Who Game

Have fun playing our printable Christmas Guess Who Game while learning about twenty regional Christmas characters and Christmas traditions around the world! In places where the seasons are well defined and the winter months are cold, December often brings a...

 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 Castle from Cardboard

How to Make a Castle from Cardboard

Learn how to make a castle from cardboard, paper rolls and other recyclables!  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 make...

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

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

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...

How to Make a Fairy Door from Popsicle Sticks

How to Make a Fairy Door from Popsicle Sticks

Learn how to make a fairy door from popsicle sticks and add a little bit of everyday magic to your playroom! It's refreshing to add a little bit of magic into everyday family life! Sometimes we have a family dinner by candlelight or go on a treasure hunt around...

DIY Rainbow Unicorn Hobby Horse

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...

How to Build a Cardboard Spaceship

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

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

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

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...

25 DIY Toys from Nature

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

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

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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