Easy Wood Toy To Make - Memory Tiles
An easy wood toy to make even for non-woodworkers are these memory tiles! Memory tiles are a set of images that match in pairs and are excellent learning toys. Younger babies like to sort them (put them all in a container, take them all out again) and will study the simple shapes. My own son exclaims "birwd" and "twee" (bird and tree for the non-toddler speaking folks) when he sorts them.
Older kids of course can match them up, such as "Where is the other bird tile?" and can even play the game where you turn them all face down and flip one over at a time to try to find the pairs. They can be used to teach colors (different images in the same color) or numbers (different numbers of items on a tile) or other types of sorting, like having some with animal pictures and some with plant pictures and some with cars and some with trucks. Get creative! Pick some simple images your child will recognize and enjoy.
If you are looking for more "learning/play" based activities, check out Sonya's site where she shares tons of toddler learning activities to keep littles ones busy.
Easy Wood Toy To Make - Memory Tiles Tutorial
Cut squares out of 1/4 inch thick wood. Be sure your tiles are at least 2 inches by 2 inches or they will be in choking hazard territory. My tiles are 2" and slightly larger is fine too.
Not a woodworker? Can't cut wood? No problem! A memory tile set is such an easy wood toy to make that you can buy the tile blanks for cheap. Craft stores often carry them. I personally like the selection at Casey's Wood but stay away from the varnished ones or the ones made of plywood. Stick to the plain solid wood.
Sketch your shapes or designs in pencil first. Pencils are a key tool in woodworking because you can erase the marks or any mistakes. Woodworking has made me fall in love with good old pencils again.
I like to use a woodburning tool to go over my pencil sketches before painting. This is optional you can skip this step and go straight to painting if you do not have a woodburning tool. (Course this is a good excuse as any to get one. Just be careful, woodburning is NOT a "safe to do around baby" sport, these suckers are hot and you don't want a little one grabbing at the cord while you work.)
Paint your design now using non-toxic paint and add color. Course, you could leave these plain too and just wood burn them which is also beautiful. You can also seal these with a natural wood sealer as shown.
Enjoy! Let the learning begin!
Storage Tip - For all you sewers out there, don't forget to whip up a cute matching toy pouch for these. This makes an excellent gift! For the non-sewers, the "not enough time-ers" or the "just too lazy" folks, buy a little pouch, purse, sachet or a little box to store them in.
Have fun & happy crafting!