Even in the 21st century, little children like their toys simple and, with younger kids, the simpler the toy the better, which means nothing beats a box of blocks. By cutting up a selection of different-shaped pieces of wood, you can create a variety of building blocks that will get creative minds working and keep the kids busy for hours. Just ensure you make enough, so there are plenty to go around.
Step 1 - Using a builder's square as a guide, measure and mark out triangles or straight lines on your timber (or trace around a jar to give circles or half rounds) in a series of different lengths, shapes and sizes.
Step 2 - Using a mitre saw or handsaw, cut along the waste side of your pencil lines for your straight cuts. Use a jigsaw for any curves.
Step 3 - Remove any jigsaw lines and all sharp edges with 80-grit sandpaper, and finish off with 120-grit sandpaper.
Step 4 - Finish by painting the blocks with a variety of stains to show the wood grain, or paint them a range of different colours.
All timber untreated
• Pine 45x20mm
• Pine 70x20mm
• Pine 70x50mm
• 45mm dowel
• 80g and 120g
• A variety of water-based stains or paints in various colours (non-toxic)
• Sharp hand saw/mitre saw
• Tape measure
• Builder's square
• Paint brush
Make sure you don't make any of your blocks too small, or your littlies could be tempted to put them in their mouths.