Thursday, February 07, 2019

DIY Color Blocks for Kids

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Tutorial for how to make your own set of DIY color blocks for light play. A video tutorial is included.

My kids enjoy playing with light, whether it's exploring natural light or mirrors or playing with our DIY light table.

So oftentimes, I find myself creating homemade materials to aide them in their curiousness of light play.

These DIY color blocks are just one of the many homemade light table toys that I have made. At just a fraction of the cost, these color blocks can be made in just a few minutes with simple materials from the dollar store.

They're so pretty and way cheaper than the store bought versions.

Tutorial for making DIY homemade color blocks for light play

About Our Homemade Color Blocks for Light Play

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 tutorial - made from dollar store items for only $3 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!

Tutorial for How to Make DIY Color Blocks from Dollar Store Wooden Blocks

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.

To make one block, you will need eight wood blocks from the tumbling towers "jenga" game and a piece of colored transparency.

1. Arrange four blocks into a square shape and hot glue gun it together so that it looks like a picture frame.

2. Cut a piece of transparency so that it's big enough to cover the middle of the "picture frame."

3. Lightly glue the transparency into place, just so that it won't move on you.

4. Then create another picture frame shape with the remaining four blocks.

5. Hot glue it onto the picture frame with the transparency on it.  I didn't take pictures along the way, but you can always watch the accompanying video tutorial for an overview of how to assemble the blocks.



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

Playing with our Homemade Color Blocks for Kids

The only downside (or limitation) to my homemade version of the color blocks is that I could only make little rectangles or squares.  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.

Tutorial for making DIY color blocks for light table play from And Next Comes L

Tutorial for making DIY color blocks for light table play 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. Seriously, look at how wonderful they look in front of a window.  Gorgeous!

DIY color blocks tutorial - made from dollar store items for only $3 from And Next Comes L

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!

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Tutorial for making DIY homemade color blocks for light play