DIY Matching Toy for Toddlers

Welcome to the second month of the HD Monthly Gift Challenge where I am joining 11 other bloggers to come up with a creative gift for someone using a designated Home Depot item.

*Home Depot does not sponsor this challenge in any way.*

If you missed last month, we chose copper fittings and our significant others as recipients.  You can check out my DIY Space-saving Copper Pipe Lamp with Charging Station, as well as all the other great projects here!

New graphicThis month we chose wood dowels as our item, and a child as our gift recipient.  I knew right away I wanted to make an educational toy for my little guy.  Here’s what I came up with!

 

This is a great toy/game for 1-3 year olds to practice matching colors, shapes, and sizes, and for practicing hand-eye coordination.  It was easy, inexpensive, and my 14 month old loves it!I was very pleasantly surprised with how much my little guy loved this.  He is 14 months old.  When I gave it to him he immediately started taking the tubes off and putting them back on the dowels.  I was surprised he picked it up so quickly.  He played with it for about an hour before he started chewing on the tubes, which I hadn’t waterproofed yet, and had to take it away.  And boy did he scream.  He did not want to give it up LOL.

Wanna make one for your little one?  Here’s what you need!

*Just a side note, this toy is most appropriate for ages 1-3 probably.  I would definitely use this as a supervised toy only.  That is all. :)

Supplies:

  • PVC pipe in 3 sizes
  • Wooden dowels in 3 sizes (these should fit inside the PVC sizes you chose.)
  • Piece of wood 2×6″ (mine is about 10″ long)
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint (to coordinate with the scrapbook paper)
  • Paintbrush

This is a great toy/game for 1-3 year olds to practice matching colors, shapes, and sizes, and for practicing hand-eye coordination.  It was easy, inexpensive, and my 14 month old loves it!

Cut the PVC pipes and dowels to different lengths.  My shortest one was 4″ and the longest was 10″  and I have 7 pieces (one broke off when he got to play with this unsupervised LOL, but I might glue it back on).  So, for example, you will need a 5″ PVC pipe with a matching 5″ wood dowel.  Then you will paint the 5″ dowel blue, for example, and then Mod Podge the 5″ PVC pipe with the blue scrapbook paper.  So the colors help the little ones to match up the tubes to the correct size and height dowels.

Once you have all of your pieces cut now comes the hard part!

You have to create some holes for the dowels to fit into so that you can secure them to the wood block.  I know they have a special drill attachment that will drill larger holes in wood, but I didn’t want to spend any extra cash on new tools right now as we are buying a house!

So instead, I used wood chisels and a hammer.  I spaced out the dowels as I wanted them on the wood block and then traced around them so I would know where to put the holes.

This is a great toy/game for 1-3 year olds to practice matching colors, shapes, and sizes, and for practicing hand-eye coordination.  It was easy, inexpensive, and my 14 month old loves it!

Then I chiseled out the holes with the chisel and hammer.  I wasn’t overly careful with this and I didn’t go down very deeply.  I would definitely recommend using a hole boring attachment if you have one, to have better, more secure holes.  But this works too!

This is a great toy/game for 1-3 year olds to practice matching colors, shapes, and sizes, and for practicing hand-eye coordination.  It was easy, inexpensive, and my 14 month old loves it!

Next, fill the bottom of your holes with glue.  I used wood glue, but as I said before, one of the long dowels already snapped off, so you would probably be better off with gorilla glue or liquid nails.  That’s what I would do next time.

This is a great toy/game for 1-3 year olds to practice matching colors, shapes, and sizes, and for practicing hand-eye coordination.  It was easy, inexpensive, and my 14 month old loves it!

Put the dowels down in the glue and let dry over night.  Try to get the dowels as plumb (straight up and down) as possible.  You might have to prop a few of them up while they dry, depending on how level the holes are.This is a great toy/game for 1-3 year olds to practice matching colors, shapes, and sizes, and for practicing hand-eye coordination.  It was easy, inexpensive, and my 14 month old loves it!

Once the dowels are dry, fill the rough spots with joint compound until level and smooth.  Once it’s dry you can sand it down and paint it.   I spray painted the whole thing yellow first, as that was going to be my main color.  This is how it looked at this point.

This is a great toy/game for 1-3 year olds to practice matching colors, shapes, and sizes, and for practicing hand-eye coordination.  It was easy, inexpensive, and my 14 month old loves it!blog pin itLater I painted the blue and red dowels and I am planning to cover the outside of the papered tubes with Mod Podge to seal the paper before I let little guy play with it again.  There’s only so many hours in the day!

We were also supposed to wrap our gifts using any item from Home Depot.  I kept it simple with a plain brown paper bag that would be easy for him to unwrap.  Then I used a paper punch to cut star shapes out of paint chips I picked up at the HD and taped them on.

This is a great toy/game for 1-3 year olds to practice matching colors, shapes, and sizes, and for practicing hand-eye coordination.  It was easy, inexpensive, and my 14 month old loves it!This is a great toy/game for 1-3 year olds to practice matching colors, shapes, and sizes, and for practicing hand-eye coordination.  It was easy, inexpensive, and my 14 month old loves it! This is a great toy/game for 1-3 year olds to practice matching colors, shapes, and sizes, and for practicing hand-eye coordination.  It was easy, inexpensive, and my 14 month old loves it!

I hope you try out this project for your 1-3 year old because I promise they will love it!  It makes a great handmade gift too!  Its perfect for learning colors, matching sizes and shapes, and hand-eye coordination.  And, it only cost me about $15 to make!

Be sure to check out all the other blogger’s great wood dowel projects for the kids by clicking on each photo below!

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