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!