DIY Gifts for Kids: Simple Wooden Toy Projects

Looking for easy wooden toy projects that would make fantastic DIY gifts for kids? Here are some tried and tested projects, as well as inspiration for several more, using the amazing Tiny Land Wood Stains.

Simple wooden toy projects that make fantastic gifts for kids

This post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and go on to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Please read my disclosure policy for more details.

For the purpose of this post I was gifted these wood stains and sealant and compensated for my time. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

Tiny Land Play

We came across Tiny Land earlier in the year through their colourful Instagram account! Tiny Land make a whole range of play and art supplies all derived from natural ingredients. Their products are eco-friendly and environmentally responsible- even down to their packaging choices.

If you love making DIY gifts Tiny Land is the shop for you! Their range of natural paints and sealants are perfect for all sorts of wood-work projects, whilst giving you the peace of mind that your child can safely play with their new toy free from any harmful chemicals.

We’ve recently tried their natural acrylic paint in a project to make toy houses and were so pleased with the results! You can read about that project here.

Gifts for kids- wooden toy houses

Tiny Land Wood Stains

One of Tiny Land’s most popular products are their wood stains. These natural wood stains are stunningly vibrant and perfect for emulating the look of expensive toy brands such as Grimms and Grapat.

We’ve been testing them out over the past few months and have certainly got the DIY bug! Most of my projects are quick, simple ones fuelled by the many amazing unfinished wooden toys you can buy online when you start searching for them!

The Tiny Land wood stains, are not self sealing so you will need to finish your project with sealant in order to prevent colour transfer.

Before I came across Tiny Land Play I spent many hours searching for a natural sealant that I wouldn’t worry about my littlest mouthing and I can tell you they are not easy to find! So I was overjoyed when Tiny Land developed their own plant-based sealant, which we now use for our DIY projects.

This natural sealant requires several coats to become completely repellent to water and saliva. Build up layers of the sealant and test the toy with a drop of water before giving to a child.

Rainbow StainsToy Safe sealant

DIY Gifts for Kids

Here are some of the projects that we’ve been working on, as well as some inspiration for others we haven’t quite had time for yet! You can find links to where I bought our unfinished wooden toys at the end of this post.

Wooden Cotton Reels

Staining these cotton reels was such a simple project but makes a brilliant gift, especially when teemed with some threading laces. Threading is such a brilliant fine motor activity for preschoolers. These cotton reels are also great for colour sorting and ordering by size.

Gifts for kids- cotton reels for threading

To make this simple project even quicker to complete I dipped the cotton reels straight into the pots of stain! To do this I wrapped one end of a pipe-cleaner around each cotton reel and dipped it into the colour pot before leaving them to dry. It only takes a few seconds to stain the wood but if you want a more opaque look you can apply several coats.

Wooden Balls

These wooden balls were a fantastic find and much loved by my kids. They’re also great with the Grimms rainbow when making ball runs. I decided to keep some natural, opting to finish them just with sealant.

Wooden balls- DIY toy

Peg People

I’ve painted a lot of peg people in my time as gifts for kids! Peg people are fantastic for small world play and for colour recognition and sorting. Paint or stain the peg people in rainbow colours or make a name set as a gift. To add the letters I used an acrylic paint pen.

Peg people- DIY toy

Wooden Rings

Another super simple DIY! These rings are brilliant for all sorts of activities including posting, balancing on a mug tree or hooking on this plate rack I picked up from Ikea! They are also useful for colour recognition acitivities and sorting.

Wooden Rings- DIY toy

Pyramid Building Blocks

I actually made this before discovering Tiny Land Stains but if you’re up for a bigger project this is such a worthwhile one! It’s not hard to make but it is more time consuming. However, these building blocks are a brilliant, open-ended toy with so much opportunity for play. You can read my full instructions on this blog post.

DIY stepped pyramid building blocks

Rainbow Rice

Moving away from wooden toy projects for a moment… did you know Tiny Land Stains are also great for dyeing rice and other food supplies for sensory play? We made our latest batch this way and the colours are stunning!

To make rainbow rice add a tablespoon or two of the Tiny Land stain to a bag of rice. Scrunch the rice until it’s well covered by the stain and lay it out on a tray to dry.

Rainbow Rice

So these are some of the DIY gifts for kids that we’ve tried, but there are lots of others that I want to try in the future! Check out the products below for more wooden toys that you could stain using the Tiny Land wood stains.


Wooden Acorns
Nesting Dolls
Wooden Rings
Wooden Balls
Wooden Peg Dolls
Wooden Trees
Wooden Spools
Wooden Letters
Wooden Acorns
Nesting Dolls
Wooden Rings
Wooden Balls
Wooden Peg Dolls
Wooden Trees
Wooden Spools
Wooden Letters
Simple wooden toy projects that make fantastic gifts for kids


  1. Richelle Smith
    August 17, 2020 / 8:22 pm

    Hi Laura,

    I can’t believe it has taken me this long to check out your blog. I remember you telling me about your plans to do this a couple of years ago and you have created such a wonderful resource!

    I’d love to know where you got the the wooden scoops and bowls that are pictured with the coloured rice? I’m going to give this this idea a go!

  2. September 11, 2020 / 10:04 am

    That’s really nice post. I appreciate your skills. Thanks for sharing.

    • Laura
      September 23, 2020 / 11:43 am

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad it was useful.

  3. Gitty Appelbaum
    January 12, 2021 / 11:13 pm

    Hi-I really enjoyed your instructions and adorable project ideas. Do you ever find that the wood swells a little after staining or dyeing? My wood peg dolls fit perfectly into bean pot cups when they were unfinished (or painted), but after staining/dyeing, they no longer fit in. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Laura
      January 19, 2021 / 8:20 pm

      Oh I’m afraid I’ve not experienced this before, or at least I haven’t noticed it! Perhaps the wood needs longer to dry out and it will contract again?

  4. Naz
    March 11, 2021 / 12:52 pm

    Hi! Thanks for sharing this all looks amazing! Can I ask please where you get the natural peg people from to paint? Many thanks Naz

    • Laura
      April 1, 2021 / 9:26 pm

      Hi there! They are from Amazon. You can find the link at the end of the post. Thanks, Laura

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