Wooden blocks are wonderful learning toys for kids. Wooden blocks can come in all different shapes and sizes and can be very easily homemade. My 3 year old absolutely loves playing with blocks right now, so we decided to make him some wooden blocks for outdoors.
We had to take down a tree last spring, so we (and by we I mean my husband) carefully cut and stacked the wood to dry because we (and by we I mean me) wanted to use this tree to make wooden blocks.
The wood was finally dry enough that it was ready yesterday, so we got to chopping! I had thought we would use a handsaw, but after a moment or two decided the chainsaw was the way to go. Here is how we made our wooden blocks:
1. Find/Scavenge/Steal (um … never mind the last one) an old cut down tree or old logs or branches.
2. Allow to dry for awhile. I really don’t know how long is needed. I quickly realized my husband was delaying the cutting process – so I am not sure how long he held me off for unnecessarily.
3. Cut the branches/tree/logs into 2 or 3 inch pieces. This can be down with a handsaw (if you have hours and hours – oh right – you have kids too – so …) a chainsaw is much faster. I am afraid of chainsaws, so my hubby did this step. I really should get braver – I just think how often I cut myself with a kitchen knife ….
4. Sand the edges (optional). I intended on doing this, but the edges were really not too rough. No real risk of splinters or cuts. We started and I think did 2.
5. Wax (optional). You can put a natural beeswax on your blocks to seal them, if you are so inclined.
And then let the learning begin! Within the first day our wooden blocks were:
sorted by size
I commented on how the bridge looked a bit like an animal, and my creative Madeline turned it into a frog:
And we have only just begun! Wooden blocks are an excellent way to reuse nature and help bring natural toys to your child’s work.
Making these wooden blocks was so easy! Well, actually I didn’t do anything except encourage (aka ask again and again) my husband and bring him more logs – saying each time, “just one more hunny”.
What kinds of things do your kids make with blocks?
Keep those Wee Ones Learning!