The scraps from other projects are a great opportunity to turn out some homemade wooden blocks. These were made for my son. He already has other smaller blocks, so I wanted to make a set that was larger. He is still pretty young, so the larger blocks are easier to stack.
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I made these blocks from the drop on a wooden baby gate. My son loved getting into the kitchen and playing with the dog food. He enjoyed tipping over the water bowl as well. The piece required Pine that was about 3″ wide, so I had several sticks with small portions remaining after the project. These were perfect for a set of homemade wooden blocks.
When you make your blocks, a few things about size can help. Make the rectangle blocks twice as long as they are wide. These blocks are just under 3″ by just under 6″. When stacked cross ways, there is no overlap. The squares should be the same size as the width of the rectangles, which also aides in stacking.
Homemade wooden blocks are a quick easy project that can be made from scraps. The kids love them, and they are essentially free. Even if paid for, Pine boards are inexpensive, and available almost everywhere.
After you cut the blocks to size, round the edges on a router table or by hand. Then, sand the surfaces to 220 grit. Pine sands easily, so the process will go quickly. Next, wipe them down with a cloth to remove all the dust.
Finally, finish the pieces with the child safe finish of your choice. I went with a mixture of mineral oil and bees wax for these blocks. There are a number of ways to make this finish, but essentially it involves melting bees wax into mineral oil. Once the mixture cools, it will form a loose paste. Wipe the paste on each piece, then buff it off with a clean towel. Let the pieces dry well, and they are ready to play with. The mineral oil penetrates, and the wax is spread evenly over the surface.
If you are going to brew your own finish for your homemade wooden blocks, be sure to know what you are doing and be safe. Making finish can be very dangerous, so be extra cautious if you decide to try the process.
You can also finish these with a food safe finish for older kids. Young kids will inevitably put these blocks in their mouth. Older kids however, tend to just play with them. There are number of food safe finishes available online, and each of them do a great job at making the blocks look finished. Consider your audience, and make sure whatever finish you choose is safe.
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My article on making a Wooden Toy Car, shows another project I made for my son. He loves this car, and it always rolls, so it’s great for kids.
Have you made any wooden kids toys? Tell us your favorite by leaving a comment.
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