Waldorf nature blocks are so simple to make and completely free toy which your toddler will be using all the way to preschool or even longer. Unlike geometrically shaped blocks from a store, these homemade unfinished irregularly shaped blocks will let your child use of imagination with them. They can easily become more than just a blocks; they can be cars, plains, people, animals, food, cups and so on. As children’s imagination is endless.
To start find few branches and trunks different sizes. In woodland you can find trunks which are almost dry. If you live in a city you may wonder where to find it. Well, from my experience, the best way is to go for a walk in a park the day after the storm. You may find really great pieces in different diameters, but bad thing is those trunks are still fresh and wet since coming from a living tree.
You have to be careful and dry wood very well before cutting them, if not dried properly they will attract mold and fungus. To dry you can set the pieces in a dry, well-ventilated place under low humidity for about few weeks or longer. You can use sun on sunny day to place them out. Or if you are in a hurry, in an oven on a low temperature ( 50 degrees Celsius) for a 4-5 hours. If so, extreme supervision is required.
When trunks are dry you can begin cutting. Cut them in different thickness (2-6 inches) and diameters. You can use either electric saw or if you wanna go natural, hand saw. It’s all right to keep the bark on. It will make them more interesting.
Sand the rough edges and brush. You may want dip or spray each block with a coat of clear non toxic sealer or polyurethane. I’ve used Rust-Oleum Zinsser Shellac Spray. It is great for toys, crafts and small woodwork. I would love to leave them natural but it is not possible at this moment, my daughter still mouthing toys.
We’ll use our wooden blocks in sensory bin and for stacking at first.
And then, in a years to come, wherever imagination brings us… for instance fairy garden.
In the end I’ve sew beautiful string bag for storage to keep them safe. Love that nature print. It goes perfectly with wooden blocks.
What nature inspired toy do you plan to make? What are favourite nature toys for your children?