Create Wooden Toys that your Kids will Love
Today, the majority of children have more toys than they can play with. It’s common to see them getting bored with toys easily and not placing much value on them. Why not try changing this with your kids? You could make your own wooden toys for them! It’s one way to make them see that making toys takes time and effort, and for that reason that they should value them.
To achieve this, in this article you can find some ideas on different wooden toys that your kids will love, and how to make them yourself.
Why wooden toys?
During the last few decades, wooden toys have been considered somewhat boring, out of date and a bit lacking in interactive features. Plastic, electric or digital toys have grown in popularity and have made more classic options almost obsolete.
Fortunately, this trend has slowed down a little lately, leaving room for wooden toys and games to make a comeback. This isn’t just by chance. They have many advantages:
- Stimulate creativity in small children. Since they are simpler than more modern toys, they make the child use their imagination when playing.
- Are more long-lasting than plastic toys. These toys or games will still be intact even after taking a few hits or falls.
- The design is safer since they don’t have small pieces that little kids could easily swallow.
- Caring for the environment. Timber is a renewable, eco-friendly resource, unlike plastic or other materials.
As you can see, it’s really worth making wooden toys. You will, of course, have to invest a few hours, but you’ll see that the rewards more than make up for the effort you expend. Your children will be able to enjoy playing with their toy for many years to come, and this will stimulate their growth thanks to your work.
Pairs or memory games
There are few games as traditional as playing pairs. It’s the perfect game to play as a family and is just as good for little kids as for bigger ones. The great advantage of this game is that you can adapt it to the difficulty you want. Also, it fits in a small box, so you could even take it with you on family trips and entertain your kids at any time.
To create a pairs game out of wood, you will just need the following few materials:
- A long, cylindrical piece of timber with a diameter across of 6 cm
- Paint or coloring pencils
How to make the game:
Once you have all the necessary materials, you should follow these steps:
- Cut half centimeter slices from the piece of wood, to make a flat, round piece for the game with each slice. Cut as many pieces as you want the game to have. Remember that for each picture you’ll need two pieces, so cut an even number of slices.
- Sand the edges so the pieces will be safer and won’t have splinters.
- Draw different pictures on each piece with the pencil, making up pairs of matching pictures.
- Now you’ve got your drawings on each of the pieces, you can now either color or paint them.
- Lastly, apply a thin coat of varnish so your pictures won’t fade with use.
- Look for a small box to keep all the pieces in, and you’re ready to go.
With regards to the difficulty of the game, you can change it in different ways. We recommend that no matter how easy or hard you want to make it, always start by making a lot of pairs. If at the start there are too many, you can just take some out. As your children get used to the game and develop the skills necessary, you can add in more and more pairs to make the game more difficult.
You could also combine drawings with matching words. For example, on one piece you have a drawing, and on the matching pair instead of the same picture, you can write the word for the picture. It’s a fun way for your kids to learn the words for different colors or numbers.
The second idea for a game you could try making is also simple to create. You could make this at the same time as the above game since the materials you need are very similar. It’s a great way to help your kids learn to write at the same time as having fun.
To make a magnetic alphabet you need:
- 36 slices of a round piece of timber with a diameter of 6 cm across
- 36 magnets
- Permanent marker
How to make the game:
Now you’ve got all the materials you need, you’ll just need to follow these simple steps:
- Cut slices from the piece of timber the same way as in the previous game. You could buy a long piece of timber and take advantage to make both games at the same time.
- Sand the edges of each slice to avoid any small splinters that could make their way into little fingers.
- With a permanent marker, draw one of the letters of the alphabet on each slice. You can also draw the numbers from 0 to 9.
- Varnish the slices and stick a magnet onto each one.
To help your kids to learn to read and write, you should incorporate this game into your daily routine. Get them used to writing the name of the day of the week each day, the current time, or the name of someone in the family.
Wooden toys and games are one of the best options for your kids to learn while playing. And, at the same time, you will be looking after the planet by using environmentally friendly, renewable materials.
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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Ventura, Anna: 1000 ideas prácticas en decoración del hogar, Universe Publishing, 2003.