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DIY Grimm’s Blocks

A tutorial on DIY Grimm's Toys! | spiritedandthensome.com

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One of our family’s favorite projects, DIY Grimm’s Blocks are as fun to make as they are to play with! Unfinished wood blocks, liquid watercolors, water, bowls, and lined trays or pans are all you’ll need to create your own cost-effective sensory activity! 

Ingredients

  • Liquid watercolors in several colors
  • Unfinished wood blocks
  • Water
  • Small/medium bowls or dishes
  • Trays or pans, lined with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or wax paper

Instructions

  1. Line several dishes or bowls that have wide enough bases to hold individual wooden blocks. Fill each bowl with the desired watercolors. This may be anywhere from 10-20 drops or more of liquid watercolors.
  2. Place blocks, one at a time, in desired bowls and rotate the blocks to get an even coating.
  3. Line dyed blocks on sheets of parchment paper, wax paper, or aluminum foil. 
  4. There will be natural striations and color changes as the liquid watercolors pool at the bottom of each block. For a more uniform color, plan to repeat Steps 1 and 2 several more times, letting the blocks dry in between each round. Rotate blocks regularly during the drying process to prevent the color pooling and to evenly distribute the liquid watercolors.
  5. Once the blocks have dried, usually about 24 hours after Step 1, play and enjoy!

Notes

  • Liquid watercolors can bleed when wet or transfer onto hands and fingers during extended play. If desired, coat the finished wood blocks with sealant before using.
  • We have since discovered another way to dye wooden blocks, which we implemented in our blog post How to Dye Wood Blocks (in 4 simple steps!). If you don’t want to mess with bowls, this method might work for you instead!