How to make wooden baby toys

Written by joanne robitaille
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How to make wooden baby toys
Woodcarving skills aren't necessary to make an infant's toy. (wood car toy image by Pavel Losevsky from

Not everything for your new baby needs to come from a store. With very few tools you can make a wooden toy that your child will be able to use for years to come. The simplest kind of wooden toys to make for infants are rolling toys. Wheeled figures such as animals and cars with exaggerated proportions are both safe and amusing to a baby.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • ¾-inch pine
  • ¼-inch diameter dowel
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Compass
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Non-toxic paint
  • Pencil

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  1. 1

    Outline the shape of the figure you wish to make onto your wood. A duck, car or turtle are all figures that have easily definable outlines that can be transferred onto wood. For cars, include an outline of the windows, and for animal figures, don't forget the eyes.

  2. 2

    Cut out your figure using a jigsaw. Use a steady hand to ensure you're able to follow the lines you've drawn. Depending on the shape of the outline, you may not be able to cut in one continuous line.

  3. 3

    Drill pilot holes for any internal cutting. These holes should be as close as possible to the outer edge of the outline so that you can easily remove the unnecessary wood. If possible, select a drill bit that's the same size as any eyeholes you want to make for an animal figure. Drill a pair of 9/32-inch holes at the bottom of the figure for the axels.

  4. 4

    Sand the entire figure until it's completely smooth. Pay special attention to any corners to make sure you remove all jagged pieces of wood.

  5. 5

    Use a compass to draw four circles with a diameter of 4½ inches. Double check your measurements before cutting them out with the jigsaw. These circles will act as the toy's wheels, so they need to be identical. Drill a ¼-inch hole into the centre of each wheel and sand down the edges once they've been cut out.

  6. 6

    Paint both the figure and the wheels with brightly coloured, non-toxic paints. Since this toy is for an infant, you don't have to worry about including exact details. Painting the body a solid colour and the wheels a second, contrasting colour will make a very cheerful toy.

  7. 7

    Measure and cut a pair of 4-inch axels from the dowel. Slide the dowels through the already drilled axel holes. One at a time, surround the end of the dowel with wood glue and slide a wheel onto it. The wheels should rest close to the body of the figure without actually touching it.

  8. 8

    Wait for the glue to dry, then sand off any part of the dowel that sticks out beyond the edge of the wheel. Touch up any areas on the wheels where the paint has come off.

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