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. 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...

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…

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...

Emotion Paper Dolls for Teaching Kids about Emotions: Boy Edition

Make a printable dress-up paper doll that will teach children about emotions and the way they're expressed through body language. Instead of costumes, this paper doll changes faces.  This version features a boy doll, specially designed for boys, who would look for a...

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...

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...

 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 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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