Flower Building Toy

My daughter loves flowers. And around the same time I thought of the branch tree idea, I came up with this flower building toy. I used some scrap wood and cut out shapes, then painted them. Then I drilled holes into a bunch of thick dowel pieces to make stacking beads for the stems. The end result is a toy that allows the child to make their own various flower creations. My kids have been having a great time with it. When I showed it to my wife, she put a flower pedal piece lower down on the stem to make leaves! I didn’t even think of that! One of the great things about simple, open-ended toys.


  1. Marjolein
    January 31, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Love it!

  2. Krista
    January 31, 2011 at 9:48 pm


  3. Tricia Orchard
    January 31, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing your fantastic ideas!

  4. hande ne yapıyor?
    January 31, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    so cute:)

  5. I Live in an Antbed
    January 31, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I love the absolute brilliance of the simplicity.

  6. Heidi
    January 31, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I love flowers too! Lovely!

  7. Erica @ Acire Adventures
    January 31, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    This is a fantastic toy! I could totally see this fitting in with the neat wooden toy sets you can buy now from brands like Melissa & Doug.

  8. kristin
    January 31, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    brilliant!! and i agree with erica [previous comment] - this would make such a great gift!

  9. Kre8ive Life
    January 31, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Oh I love your toys. They are so very creative, but so wonderully simple.

  10. Marisa
    January 31, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Mmhmm. So when is the Made By Joel toy line coming out? I have a two kids and three nephews that need these things. :)

  11. Katie
    January 31, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I LOVE this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  12. Good Canary
    January 31, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    LOVE THIS!! I can not wait for my husband to put this on his project list.
    She's so satisfied in that last picture. :)
    I love flowers too...I think I want one for myself!

  13. joolee
    January 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    i love this. FABULOUS!!

  14. Joel Henriques
    January 31, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks everybody! Yes, I'd really like to get this toy produced. I'll be working on that soon!

  15. Michelle Evans
    January 31, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    Amazing! I just found your blog this week and am so impressed. What terrific ideas. My daughter loves flowers too. I might have to round up some wood scraps from the garage tonight and give this a go! Thanks for all the terrific ideas!

  16. jojoebi
    February 1, 2011 at 12:02 am

    what a great idea! great for fine muscle exercise too.

  17. Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com
    February 1, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Simple, beautiful, and fun - as always.

  18. cristina
    February 1, 2011 at 1:05 am

    i love signs of spring: any way i can see it,
    enjoy it, imagine it!

  19. Mothercristina
    February 1, 2011 at 1:18 am

    That is such a simple awesome idea. Thanks for sharing. Wouldn't it be beautiful if the wood block was painted like grass? That would sell over $50 at most stores.

  20. se7en
    February 1, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Totally cool - As usual, Love it!!!

  21. artgirl
    February 1, 2011 at 2:18 am

    What a beautiful toy. Brilliant!

  22. Amanda Pedro
    February 1, 2011 at 3:18 am

    oh Joel! You've done it again! I can see this in so many children's spaces! Such a simple, pleasurable, open ended toy! I bet you can even make robots out of it!
    thanks for sharing your creativity so freely!

  23. Sheri
    February 1, 2011 at 4:33 am

    WOW--These are SUPER! Great idea, thanks for posting it!

  24. simply blythe
    February 1, 2011 at 5:45 am

    crazy clever.

  25. Irēna
    February 1, 2011 at 5:57 am

    GREAT toy!

  26. fraufertig
    February 1, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Your ideas are just amazing! I´m so glad I found your blog!

    greetings from germany

  27. Erin
    February 1, 2011 at 7:39 am

    These are so simple, but beautiful - love them!
    I might have to try something similar for my class.

  28. Anonymous
    February 1, 2011 at 7:50 am

    its lovely! but just wondering how you cut out the shapes? great job!

  29. Gingko
    February 1, 2011 at 8:00 am

    Terribly beautiful idea...

  30. Clementine-Illustration
    February 1, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Super et très beau !

  31. amber
    February 1, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I am so in love with this project! I wan to play with this myself. Are all the shapes cut with a scroll saw?

  32. Paul & Paula
    February 1, 2011 at 8:14 am

    your daughter looks all happy and excited...which is completely normal seeing her cool new toy!

  33. katka.g
    February 1, 2011 at 9:54 am

    You, sir, are a freakin genius...

  34. juliekitty
    February 1, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Great idea

  35. Belinda
    February 1, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Thank you so much for all your creativity! When ever I come here and see your projects I always thing how much fun it must be to live at your house =D


  36. Jenny
    February 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I want a set!

  37. r8chel
    February 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Your daughter is such a lucky little girl. Both the concept and the colors are great!

  38. Stacy@{share and remember}
    February 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Really neat! Some of those pieces are chokers though so I couldn't take a chance in my day care.

  39. Joel Henriques
    February 1, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Thanks everyone!

    amber - yes, I cut the wood pieces with my scroll saw. Also, I used the non-toxic paint that's listed in my "Favorite Tools" on the right side of the blog.

    Stacy@ - You're right, with dowel sticks and wooden beads, this is definitely a toy for 3 years and older.

  40. jfidz
    February 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Yet another awesome creation! You could possibly also use those shaped popsicle sticks as leaves/petals.

  41. friistyle
    February 1, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    This is really brilliant!
    Greetings from Germany...

  42. min
    February 1, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    OK now this could be packaged and SOLD at a store or any street fair and I would buy it for sure!!!

  43. Amy
    February 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    My daughter's would love this. You've got a great blog, very inspiring and so creative.

  44. Elīna
    February 2, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    My husband made simple pyramids, but these are fantastic!!! My daughter would like them:)

  45. Catherine Hansen Peart
    February 3, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Seriously, when is your line of toys coming out! I would love to make this but just don't have the tools right now.

  46. Evelyn in Canada
    February 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    My immediate thought was that it's very like Ello, except yours is much bigger and uses wood (I love wood and bamboo for toys). That's a beautiful toy and has lots of potential for add-ons.

  47. lj
    February 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    What a wonderful toy!!!! Bravo! You are a genius! I was wondering if we could make the same thing with homemade clay. I haven't got wood scrap at home. What do you think about that? And thanks again for sharing all your ideas!!!! Sandrine, a French woman from baltimore

  48. MarieHélène
    February 4, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    J'adore ce que vous faites, et là, ma fille adorerai vos créations...

  49. Joel Henriques
    February 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    Thanks everybody! Merci. Vous êtes très gentil!

    lj - Yes, you could definitely try it out of clay, or even painted cardboard.

  50. Patti
    February 5, 2011 at 3:18 am

    I love this so much! I've been looking at pre cut little wood pieces similar to those, but had not figured out what to do with them. Just perfect.

  51. Betsy
    February 5, 2011 at 11:42 am

    oh yes oh yes oh yes...we (I especially ;-) would just LOVE to get to play with this!

  52. zzoe
    February 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    you are great!

  53. Guusje
    February 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm
  54. Darcey
    February 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    What a great homemade toy. Simple and fun. I've included your post on my weekly favorites here http://play2grow.blogspot.com/2011/02/weekly-favorites-for-february-6-2011.html

  55. kim
    February 7, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Love the simplicity!

  56. Rai
    February 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    This is absolutely fantastic. It looks fun, engaging and is also very beautiful. Well done!

  57. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Very Interesting,love it! --JoJo

  58. sara's art house
    February 18, 2011 at 12:51 am

    This is adorable!

  59. woolywoman
    February 28, 2011 at 4:00 am

    I don't wood work, but I am making one out of cardboard and paint!

  60. Heather
    March 1, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Wow that is such a neat idea! A good idea too from the commenter above me to use cardboard if you don't know how to woodwork.

    What kind of paint did you paint some of the pieces with?

  61. Joel Henriques
    March 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Thanks everyone!

    Heather - If you look on the side of my blog, there is a "Favorite Tools" image hiding there. Click on that, and it will give all my info on paints etc.

  62. Heather
    March 2, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you!

  63. May 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    [...] And this: [...]

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