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.

63 Responses
  1. Erica @ Acire Adventures

    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.

  2. Marisa

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

  3. Good Canary

    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!

  4. Michelle Evans

    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!

  5. Mothercristina

    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.

  6. Amanda Pedro

    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!

  7. Belinda

    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


  8. Stacy@{share and remember}

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

  9. Joel Henriques

    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.

  10. Catherine Hansen Peart

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

  11. Evelyn in Canada

    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.

  12. lj

    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

  13. Joel Henriques

    Thanks everybody! Merci. Vous êtes très gentil!

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

  14. Patti

    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.

  15. Heather

    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?

  16. Joel Henriques

    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.