We’ve been having some more windy days with small sticks falling into our yard. So I took a piece of scrap board and drilled some holes into it and made a little forest building toy. It was fun sticking the branches in to build the forest, but it was even more exciting when my son turned it into a scene for his Lego figures. It might also be a cute forest for the paper city figures.

76 Responses
  1. Books For Breakfast

    Love it! But I'm afraid my two yr old demolition man would enjoy breaking the sticks more than he would building with them. Maybe when he turns twenty.

  2. Jenny Hillman

    Pretty and fun at the same time! I imagine this would be a lovely sort of thing to leave sitting out, even after playtime. Well done! :)

  3. amomwithalessonplan.com

    found your blog the other day, i am in awe of your simple creations. what lucky children you have, i can't wait to see what else your mind is working on!

  4. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everybody! Yes, this took literally 5 minutes to make. It's very simple. I love the effect that the natural trees (sticks) have on the toy Lego figures, and the figures also add a nice scale to the woods. It sure is a cheap Lego expansion kit!

    daisy – Yes, I was thinking the same thing. It will be fun to gather branches throughout the different seasons. I actually used a beautiful flowering twig for one of the potted trees in my dollhouse for new photos that will be in my book. It would definitely look great for this forest as well.

  5. Sparrow's Nest

    how cute is that! I love how everything you do is so artistic :) This is something I could see in a gallery, but you made it as a toy. so cool :)

  6. Maiz

    This is so great, Joel. I'm going to take this to our preschool and let the kids drill the holes with my new little hand drill! That second photo is just priceless… what a cutie!

  7. cristina

    the forest simply takes my breath away……….
    this is why i ☼ loved teaching first grade for 26 years.

    Joel, visit when you can, to see your
    deer on cloth… nearly completed.

  8. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everybody!

    cristina – Wow, the deer on cloth looks awesome! What a cool project. Also, love your amazing fireplace! Such a great photo.

  9. CathyAgent

    fabulous. I am going to the garage right now to get a board and the drill. my 5-year is going to love it. Finally, something else to do with that ever-growing collection of sticks we have.

  10. Capucine_o

    From blogs to your blog, I made a lovely travel to see all your articles…
    It's very nice and plaisant to see your creations and your children in situation…
    Bonne continuation ;D

  11. Stephanie Rose

    seriously, you rock. This is freakin awesome. All of this is. The cheerios' box into the little doll house, the puppet from cardboard – how cool is that. I keep thinking, "Why didn't I think of something like that!" Simple, but not simple, you know (I tend to NOT make sense). So glad I found your blog.

  12. t.m.

    I've been following your blog. It is inspiring! Do you sell your toys? I love te elephant puzzle, I'd love to purchase one if you sell them. I can't wait to purchase your book.

  13. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone!

    t.m. – So far, there is one company (Made in Me, from London) that is producing some of my wooden toys. They will be available soon. Hopefully sometime in the near future I will also be able to have the elephant puzzles produced. I'll let everyone know for sure! Thanks for the interest!

  14. Amber

    I'm really jealous of your playful talent. Where do you come up with these things? You're amazing! And…what are you going to do when those precious children grow up? Also…I'm curious about the way you store your materials (cardboard, etc). Your environment appears so clear and simple, but these materials (paperclips, wood, tools, cardboard) must take up some sort of space. This is a struggle I have at the moment…I feel cluttered and at a lack of easy access (I really admire that you have that simple, open space…but that you must somewhere and somehow store these items). I know you don't need the encouragement (because it's in you and something you can't stop), but keep it up! :)

  15. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everybody!

    Amber – Yes, It's definitely a struggle to keep things clean and somewhat organized. My technique is to have lots of shelves and drawers against every wall, so I can have empty space in center of the room. So far it's working pretty well.

  16. Sheri

    This is so fun, Joel! Very simple, but just imagine the things that could be done with it, from child play to table centerpiece! Viola! Thanks.

  17. dana

    Amazing Joel. Such a fresh, simple, and genius idea. Absolutely love it. Just stumbled on your blog today and I'm so happy to have found you. I run in the sewing blog circle so I enjoy jumping out to other artistic groups :).
    Thanks for sharing your talents!
    – dana
    MADE
    (www.dana-made-it.com)

  18. allie

    This is a lovely idea – I can imagine children in my classroom engaging with it. We often use sticks with the sand/dirt/mud table and the children automatically stand them up like trees – it would be interesting to try this as a tool.

    Same with the flower building toy! I think I will definitely be building something like this for the classroom. Thank you!

  19. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everyone!

    Oontje – Ooh, your forest is wonderful! I love the toys too. And I'm very proud that the idea got your kids outside for an hour. Sometimes my kids prefer to stay inside too, but fresh air is good!

  20. Oontje

    Ah, so you got what I said, even though google translate produced a very poor translation. And in the end, they played outside for more than four hours. A success! Thanks.

  21. Joel Henriques

    Oontje – Four hours, Awesome!

    Anonymous – I know, I love that print! They're actually just some Old Navy pajamas. Great print design though.

  22. Mo

    Hi Joel
    (I’ve written about your wonderful ideas a couple of times on Babyccino but I just had to let you know that my son and I made this today and it was so fun and is such a great lovely thing to keep and update the branches / trees with the seasons (especially for my stick-collecting son!). What fun! Thank you so much for your always-inspiring ideas!
    Mo
    p.s. I’ll happily send you a pic but please note I still have issues with your home being far better on ‘light’ than mine (and also pics were taken before bedtime!).

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