DIY Color Blocks

By on November 06, 2013
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I have always admired color blocks.  I think they are gorgeous on light tables and overhead projectors, but even more beautiful in natural light.  I just don't like the price tag that goes along with them.  Sure, color blocks aren't all that expensive, but when you think about what they are actually made of, I figured I could make something similar for much cheaper.

And I did!

My price tag: $3.00.

DIY Color blocks for exploring natural light made from a dollar store wooden block game from And Next Comes L

Only three dollars?!  Well, actually I could have done it for $1.50 if I had bought my supplies at the dollar store versus the liquidation center.  Next time...darn it...next time!

To make these blocks, you will need a game of wooden tumbling towers (aka Jenga).  Mine were $3.00, but like I said, I found them cheaper at the dollar store.  You will also need some colorful translucent duotangs or transparencies (also found at the dollar store).  I used the leftover transparencies from my homemade light table manipulatives.  Then grab some scissors and your hot glue gun.  I promise these are really easy to make.  As I mentioned on the sneak peek on my Facebook page, no husbands necessary for this project!

To make one block, you will need eight wood blocks from the tumbling towers game and a piece of colored transparency.  Arrange four blocks into a square shape and hot glue gun it together so that it looks like a picture frame.  Cut a piece of transparency so that it's big enough to cover the middle of the "picture frame."  Lightly glue the transparency into place, just so that it won't move on you.  Then create another picture frame shape with the remaining four blocks.  Hot glue it onto the picture frame with the transparency on it.  I didn't take pictures along the way, but you can get the general idea of how each of my color blocks were built by looking at this picture below.


Assembly of DIY color blocks from And Next Comes L

Repeat multiple times, using a different colored transparency for each block.  I ended up with six blocks in each of the following colors: orange, yellow, clear, green, blue, and purple.

Stacking DIY color blocks in natural light from And Next Comes L

The only downside (or limitation) to my homemade version of the color blocks is that I could only make little rectangles.  No semi-circles or triangles for me, but I'm okay with that because I love how mine turned out.  And more importantly, the boys love them!

They work great on the light table.

DIY Color blocks on the light table from And Next Comes L

Building with DIY color blocks on the light table from And Next Comes L

They would also work great with the overhead projector, but I think I love them the most in natural light.  The color blocks will reflect their light onto the floor, as you can see a little bit in the picture below.

Exploring natural light with DIY color blocks from And Next Comes L

But look at how wonderful they look in front of a window.  Gorgeous!

Stacking DIY color blocks in natural light from And Next Comes L

Stacking DIY color blocks in natural light from And Next Comes L

And that's it!  Simple, frugal, and fabulous!

These color blocks make a great addition to our other homemade light table projects, including:


DIY Color blocks for light play made from a dollar store wooden block game from And Next Comes L

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