These DIY blocks are a great addition to any playroom or classroom. After admiring the look and feel of natural tree blocks for years, but not wanting to pay the often high price for something I felt I could make myself, I finally decided to make a set for the boys last Christmas. This project took me an afternoon, easy and quick while providing hours of open-ended play, for free! I can honestly say they have used these blocks consistently throughout the year and the blocks are a big hit when friends come over to play, well worth the time spent making them.
Choose a log or branch. We used an old cedar fence post that we were not going to need. I started by smoothing out the knots and taking the bark off by using our Woodsman Pal (any sharp knife/hatchet would work). Depending on if you plan to have the blocks in the house or keep them as a building toy outside will help determine if you need to take the bark off the blocks. These blocks were for indoor use so I chose to take all the bark off.
Cut into block sized pieces. You can use whatever saw you have available. Make sure to try to keep the cut sides as even as possible to allow for easy stacking and building. Varying the lengths creates a unique set of blocks.
Step 3 (Optional)
Sand the blocks. Because A was going to be using the blocks I sanded the cut sides and around the edges to avoid splinters. If your child is older you could leave them. Sanding is easier if you have access to a band sander, otherwise you can do it by hand (I did both).
Find a container to put them in. We had an old basket that wasn’t being used that was the perfect size to fit all the blocks in. A crate would also work well.
Time to build and create!
These blocks didn’t cost us anything to make as we had all the materials on hand, and they make great gifts for kids.
If you are making the blocks for little hands make sure to regularly check the blocks for broken pieces and rough edges that may cause splinters, simply sand them down if you find any.