Indonesians Believe Each Person Is An Artist. If You Can Follow A Recipe You Can Make A Toy

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

DIY Bead Counter, Sorter, Patterner Toy

Another Easy Toy You Can Make!

Sorting by size, shape, and color
Counting from 1-10
Duplicating a pattern form
Fine motor and problem solving skills
Following steps and ordering in a sequence in preparation for reading

Supplies needed

1 or two blocks of nice pine or redwood

2-3 long lengths of dowel

55 wooden beads
( I got mine at the dollar store. In true Montessori fashion they would all be the same size and shape)



Wood Putty

Various Tools

Power sand your block of wood until it is very smooth.
(Wear a dust mask because the dust can irritate the lungs and  in because raw wood can be preserved with heavy metals. The new toy law only tests for lead in actual paint.) 

Sand the inside of your beads to remove any flaking paint or rough spots
(Wear a dust mask in case there is lead. Remember the new toy law does not remove all lead from toys but only sets acceptable levels)

Measure the width of your block, find and mark the center point.

Decide how many dowels you will use per block and measure to determine their placement.

Mark where you plan to drill with pencil.

Drill tiny guide holes over your pencil marks to make sure the larger drill bit gets centered.

Stick tape, as a guide, on your drill bit to make sure all holes are drilled to the same depth.

Don't cut your dowels yet!

When using beads of different sizes, decide which order your will place them into numbered sets.
(a stack of eight should not appear taller than the stack of nine next to it)

Place your lengths of dowel in the drilled holes.

Create a bead stack of identical beads and mark the top on the dowel

Remove the beads and dowel.

Hand saw the dowel cutting it at your mark.

Sand the bottoms of your dowels flat.

Place all the dowels and beads stacks on the block to verify you got it right.


Fill the holes with a little glue, place in your dowels and let dry overnight.

If you are channeling Martha Stewart you can use a level now
(It is nice to craft something beautifully made but it is only a short lived toy. Imperfection is ok)

Fill in any gaps around the dowels or flaws in the blocks with wood putty.

Sand everything smooth when dry.

Here is a finished stack of 6-10

The Kaz. Princess likes to create patterns for me to copy on the next dowel

At some point I will ask her to copy mine.

For July the workshop proudly presents
A baby mobile
Games for pre-schoolers and adults
A DIY nursery school for pretend play
A play structure makeover staring DH
A space saving dress up vanity

1 comment:

  1. You are SO clever! Thanks for sharing, adding you to my blog list so I can come back for more!