Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Making Wooden Blocks

Making wooden blocks is really, really, REALLY easy...did I mention it is easy? Oh, and it's CHEAP :D

This picture on the left is from a set made outside the USA and it sells for over $50.00 USD...

Now these ones below, they were free. And they were made by little hands, with big hands doing the dangerous work...a Waldorf emphasis is on the child actually being the one to make things - imperfections that an adult's work might not have make the treasures all the more priceless. And the process and heart that goes into the project results in a wonderful whole child experience that we can all treasure...their creations become *that* much more valued as they recognize and appreciate the hard work that goes into every little toy, snack, piece of art, etc...

Tony did the dangerous work of cutting down a dead tree in our yard (notice his top of the line saw, special ordered to have a missing handle...)

Because we live in such a warm climate, I like to pop the wood in the oven at a low temperature so we don't end up with an infestation. Then we take sand paper to each block outside (the shavings are messy) before applying a natural beeswax polish to each block.

Notice the difference in color - the darker one having just been polished with beeswax. The beeswax is optional. Also, the bark can be removed before polishing, if you like a smoother, less rugged look.

This is time consuming, so if you have a lot of blocks, break it down into doing a few a day. That's what we're having to do and it will be a while until we're finally done, but we sure are enjoying the ones that are finished! I hope to post a final picture once we're all done, but they make wonderful scenes for the nature/seasonal table!

Here is a scene that Charley set up with the blocks we finished...Now, let's play!


  1. Lovely blocks, Jen. We love our natural 'homemade' blocks here too.

  2. What beautiful blocks you made!
    I would love to make those with my kids, but somehow I just don't see it happening anytime soon.

    Miss you :)

  3. The blocks are great, thanks for the tutorial! Send me an email I can respond to, would you, Jen? I don't want to go on and on off-topic about farms in France or Italy (either is fine with me too!), foreign languages, five children and AP when the post is on blocks, but I really want to chat some more.

    Thank you again for your comment.

  4. Thanks for the comments! We're having fun with the blocks. I love seeing what the kids create with them! Charley made a gnome house that I will blog about and it was so cute, but made me realize that we have to cut some flat so she can make rooftops. Take care all!

  5. I am so inspired. Thanks for sharing. especially the tip about sticking them in the oven. I had a lovely piece of wood from when the city came to trim some neighborhood trees, only to have to get rid of it when it sprouted bugs weeks later. I wish I had known about the oven thing. I will have to find someone with a tree.