DIY: Lightweight Blocks for Toddlers

These light-weight blocks were so simple to make, and Clara had a lot of fun playing with them. Sometimes wooden blocks can be a bit too heavy and difficult for the little ones to play with. Instead, we made our own using empty (well-cleaned) milk cartons! Stacking blocks is a great educational activity for toddlers because it is a good lesson in cause and effect, balancing, spatial awareness, and fine motor skills.

A friend of mine asked her daughter’s preschool to save all the empty milk cartons for us one day. We ended up with a big bag of them, and we used many of the empty cartons to make bird feeders with the kids from my local moms club. To make the blocks, I cut off the very top of the milk carton, and folded in the top to make a flat side, as shown.
I taped this shut, and then wrapped it up as I would a present.
I used up some leftover wrapping paper from Mother’s Day, and I even used a decorative napkin for some of the blocks. You could use brown paper bags, or whatever you have on hand. Emily might even decorate a few of these for her little sister.
I think she is enjoying her new “lighter” blocks very much!


  1. Preschool Playbook says

    These blocks are great–as is all of your wonderful ideas.

  2. Oh! They’re darling! I’ve been browsing your blog and you have some great ideas. From one tightwad to another, thank you.

  3. MaryAnne says

    Brilliant idea! Now to get my hands on some milk containers…

  4. Cute…but I’d have to cover in clear packing tape or they’d be unwrapped in a blink of an eye! :o)

  5. @ Tina — I’m sure clear packing tape would work beautifully, great idea!!

    @ Verena — Welcome, and thank you for stopping by. Always nice to meet a fellow tightwad. 😉

  6. Cute idea. My kids would have thought it was a holiday everyday with these.

  7. Stephanie Griffith says

    Those are so cute!

  8. Melissa @ A Child at Play says

    I love these blocks! Big blocks would be fun too (like cereal boxes).

  9. Packer Family says

    you could even sprinkle a little rice or beans in each one so they make sound as well! Great idea! Love your blog!

  10. sunnymama says

    I made some very similar blocks for sunnyboy with some square cardboard boxes I had. After experimenting a bit I stuffed them with newspaper to strengthen them and reinforced them with parcel tape on the edges, as sunnyboy was a bit heavy-handed with them. They were so strong in the end that we still have them now 🙂

  11. @ Packer Family — That is such a great idea!! Thank you!! I'm going to make a few more with some dried beans inside and I'm sure Clara will just LOVE them! 🙂

  12. The Harris Family says

    Great idea!

  13. What a very green and frugal idea. And they are so so pretty! Great job!

  14. That is a great idea. I wish I had a little one to do this for. I need a cheap way to make Lego sets.

    Thanks for sharing with Friday Showcase!!!

  15. you are soo clever!

  16. very pretty!