Though we don't follow any specific educational philosophy over here, I do love the simplicity and beauty of Waldorf toys - specifically the Grimm Rainbow Blocks. They are just sooooo beautiful. I have coveted them for a long time now, and though I am sure they are incredibly high quality wooden blocks, I just can't bring myself to spend that much money. So I decided to see if I could come up with a DIY version of the rainbow wooden blocks. I am so thrilled with how well they turned out - and our homemade version was just a fraction of the cost - even better. Though I'm sure ours are not quite heirloom quality, they are super vibrant, bright, and fun to build with - so we're very pleased with them. They would make a fabulous homemade gift as well!
S helped me make them (though the process is a little boring - so she only made about 20% of them before opting to color instead).
And they are so fun to build with. I can't get over the gorgeous rainbow colors!
I got to build a little, too.
S and I had fun sorting them into piles by color and then sorting them by hue as well.
To make them is super easy! I first realized you could use liquid watercolors to color wood when I saw Teaching 2 and 3 Year Old's Rainbow Craft Stick Mobiles. I figured if they could make gorgeous craft sticks, they could probably dye wooden blocks. And they totally can! I bought several bags of various sized Unfinished Wood Blocks at our local craft store (Michaels) using coupons and put a small amount of each different color of liquid watercolors in a tray. We dipped each side of the block in the liquid watercolors for 2 seconds, then flipped, and when the entire block was coated, we laid them on some wax paper to dry.
To be on the safe side, we let our blocks dry for a full 24 hours before using them for building. We used a combination of different brands of liquid watercolors, as well as diluted a few colors to get a wide variety of hues of each color. If you do not have liquid watercolors, I suspect some well mixed dilute food coloring would also work (though you may want to wear gloves while dying them). And just a reminder that the dye is not set - so these are not blocks that should be around babies/toddlers who are still mouthing (as the dye may come off in their mouths).
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All activities here are activities I feel are safe for my own children. As your child's parents/guardians, you will need to decide what you feel is safe for your family. I always encourage contacting your child's pediatrician for guidance if you are not sure about the safety/age appropriateness of an activity. All activities on this blog are intended to be performed with adult supervision. Appropriate and reasonable caution should be used when activities call for the use of materials that could potentially be harmful, such as scissors, or items that could present a choking risk (small items), or a drowning risk (water activities), and with introducing a new food/ingredient to a child (allergies). Observe caution and safety at all times. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any of these activities on this blog.