Some toys, like wooden blocks, are timeless – especially when they reinforce important skills, such as identifying colors. Surprise your wee crafters-to-be with a set of hand-painted blocks in some of their favorite colors! All it takes is a few pre-made blocks found at the craft store. Whether you paint them with the recipient’s favorite colors or leave them natural and add alphabet stickers, personalizing is half the fun. If you’re giving a set as a gift, make a simple drawstring bag to store the blocks in. Not in the mood to make your own? No problem: Many craft and paper stores sell linen bags in a variety sizes – just add the decorations.
Wooden Color Blocks
- Unfinished craft wood blocks, 1 1/4 inches (we made 16 blocks for our set)
- Acrylic craft paint in six different colors
- Angled paintbrushes
- Foam brush
- Mod Podge (“Antique Matte” finish)
- Find a safe place to paint on the blocks and to allow them to dry in between coats.
- Choose your first color and apply a thin layer of that paint to one side of a block. First, with your angled brush tip, edge the outside of the block; then, fill-in the center with the foam brush. Paint one side of the rest of your blocks with that same first color and set aside to dry completely. Wait at least 30 minutes until working on the next color.
- As you add the next five colors, use a steady hand and continue edging the block face first before filling in the center.
- Add two coats of paint per side. Touch up as needed. Let dry.
- Once dry, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to each block. Add this nifty sealant to the top and two sides of your block and let dry. Then repeat for the bottom and two other sides.
- With her new blocks, have your child identify colors by flipping up all the blue sides and then the green – and so on. Alternative: Instead of painting, add alphabet or number stickers for a different take.
Drawstring Storage Bag
- White or off-white cotton fabric
- Freezer paper
- Acrylic craft paint (match your block colors!)
- Foam brush
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- Square craft punch (optional)
- Scrap fabric or ribbon
- Safety pin
|1. Start out by cutting a piece of fabric 10 inches wide and 30 inches long. Fold in half.
|2. Take one of the bag ends and fold over 2 inches, so that you have a 1-inch flap. Press with your iron. Repeat with the other side.
|3. Fire up your sewing machine – or grab a needle and thread – and stitch the flaps shut.
4. Put the wrong sides of the bag on the outside and stitch around the three sides of the bag, not the top. Turn inside out and press.
|5. Cut a square out of the freezer paper. Take the square outline and, shiny side-down, iron onto the bag.
|6. Add as many squares as you like and paint the inside area with paint. Let dry.
|7. Add ribbon or a long piece of scrap fabric to the drawstring channel using a safety pin to the guide the material.