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Make a Wooden Toy for Kids

Make a wooden toy for kids with this fun and easy tutorial! This “candy stacker” toy is a hit with my little ones. It’s perfect for sorting, stacking, and lots of creative play.

wooden toy for kids
kids stacking toy
wood stacker kids toy

I love dreaming up toys for kids! In our DIY games series, some of my very favorites are the ones that we make with kids in mind (like this balance game). So I had the most fun making this kids’ wooden stacking toy!

The idea was to have the stacking pieces look like different candies. (Can you spot the faux Watermelon Sour Patch candies? My fave!) It was a way to include lots of color and fun shapes for kids to play with.

WHy Wood Toys for Kids?

I think part of why I love making wooden toys for kids is because so much of what’s available in the toy aisle is mass-produced, plasticky, and feels disposable. But making toys for kids flips all that on its head.

For starters, when I’m making a wooden toy for my kids I feel like there’s the possibility that it will stay in the family for a long time. Or even get passed down a generation or two.

It’s also a heck of a lot more sustainable than buying plastic, mass-produced toys. And it’s just more special!

How to Make a Wooden Stacker Toy

Materials

Make Time: 3 Hours

Instructions

  1. Drill five equidistant holes into your 2×4. Holes should be 1″ deep.
  2. Ensure all of the holes in your wood beads are large enough for the beads to slide up and down the dowels. If not, drill them out a bit to enlarge them.
  3. Plan where your beads will stack. Beads may be slightly different heights, so measure carefully. You’ll have five pieces on one end, decreasing to one piece on the other end. Measure your beads and cut the wood dowel to the height of your stacked beads, adding 1.5″ inches to each dowel. This will account for the portion of the dowel that goes into the 2×4, and add a little height above the candy beads when stacked.
  4. To create faux candy like our yellow pieces, saw a tiny notch in either side of a round bead. Then cut a scrabble tile in half diagonally and sand down one corner on each piece. Use wood glue to adhere the sanded area into the notch.
  5. Paint your “candy” beads. There should be five different styles/colors so that kids can sort and count. Create groups of 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. If you like, add a little glitter before your paint dries to create shimmer.
  6. Use wood glue in each hole on the 2×4 and insert your dowels from tallest to shortest. Allow everything to dry.
wood for a kids toy
painting wood pieces for a kids toy
painting wooden candy
making a wooden toy

Making Time for Creative Play

Wooden toys like this one are so fun! They allow for learning play, like stacking and sorting. But they also allow for creative play! Play candy shop or grocery store, learn about patterns, and so many more ideas.

Hope you try making this one! Do you have any other favorite wooden toys for kids? xoxo

wooden toy for kids
kids toy
Yield: Wooden Stacking Toy

Make a Wooden Toy for Kids

wooden toy for kids

A wooden toy for kids is such a fun DIY project! Create this colorful stacker toy for a child in your life.

Active Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours

Tools

Instructions

  1. Drill five equidistant holes into your 2×4. Holes should be 1″ deep.
  2. Ensure all of the holes in your wood beads are large enough for the beads to slide up and down the dowels. If not, drill them out a bit to enlarge them.
  3. Plan where your beads will stack. Beads may be slightly different heights, so measure carefully. You’ll have five pieces on one end, decreasing to one piece on the other end. Measure your beads and cut the wood dowel to the height of your stacked beads, adding 1.5″ inches to each dowel. This will account for the portion of the dowel that goes into the 2×4, and add a little height above the candy beads when stacked.
  4. To create faux candy like our yellow pieces, saw a tiny notch in either side of a round bead. Then cut a scrabble tile in half diagonally and sand down one corner on each piece. Use wood glue to adhere the sanded area into the notch.
  5. Paint your “candy” beads. There should be five different styles/colors so that kids can sort and count. Create groups of 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. If you like, add a little glitter before your paint dries to create shimmer.
  6. Use wood glue in each hole on the 2×4 and insert your dowels from tallest to shortest. Allow everything to dry.

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