30 Results

children

Search

Kids love sleeping in tents, tipis and cabins of all kinds – and now yours can sleep tight under the stars from the comfort of their own room. This minimalist tipi tent bed frame is not only super cute, it can also be decorated in a million different ways. Better yet, it’s a whole lot easier than setting up a tent in the middle of a field: all you need is a saw and a few screws for this fun bed frame.

To make your tipi tent bed frame, you’ll need:

Please note: our frame is for a mattress measuring 60 x 120 cm, but it can easily be adapted to fit any child-sized mattress, such as 70 x 140 or 90 x 190. You can even build it on top of an existing bed frame for a tent bed with a bed base.

Choosing the right paint for a child’s bedroom

When it comes to painting children’s rooms or furniture, it’s important to read the ingredients carefully to avoid chemicals that could be dangerous to children.

– Ban the use of oil-based paints: they contain too many VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and formaldehyde, substances that are very harmful to human health and the environment.
– Water-based acrylic paints are less dangerous, but may also contain some harmful substances. Check the ingredients and avoid paints containing glycol ethers.
– Whenever possible, opt for paint that is specifically made for children’s rooms or environmentally-friendly or natural paints.
– No matter what paint you choose, make sure to air out the room for several hours after application.

For more information, see our guide, “How to paint a room”.

How to make a tipi tent bed frame for your children

Step 1: take the correct measurements

Create a unique tent bed frame for your children

Lay a wooden strip next to the mattress lengthwise and use a pencil to mark off the length you need for the frame (here it’s 120 cm). Next, measure the width you’ll need making sure to factor in the width of the strips (here it’s 60 cm + 2 x 2.8 cm = 65.6 cm).

Step 2: cut the wood and build the base frame

Cut the wood panel & build the base frame

Cut the wood strips with a jigsaw and then lightly sand the ends (you may also want to sand the edges if you’re using unfinished wood).

Build the base frame

Put the strips together to form a rectangle.

put the strips together to form a rectangle

One each side, pre-drill holes in the strips using one of the shorter wood drill bits. Then screw the 50 mm screws into the four corners.

Tip: For a professional look, use a countersink to form a small cavity in the wood before screwing. That will stop the head of your screw from sticking out.

Step 3: make the ends of the tipi tent

make the end of the tent bed frame

Put two wooden strips together to form a triangle, where the base is the head and foot of your frame, and check to see which height that would be best for your child’s bed. On one strip, use a pencil to mark the top of the tent frame and the point where the two strips will intersect. Use the same dimension to mark the other three strips with your pencil.

make the end of the tent bed frame

Cut the strips with a jigsaw and drill them at the point where they intersect. Use a bit that’s wider than your screws, as the latter will need to move around in the holes you’ve made. Sand everything until it’s smooth and splinter-free.

make the end of the tent bed frame

Screw the top ends together and attach the strips to the frame at the bottom after pre-drilling (it’s normal if they aren’t perfectly symmetrical).
This step is easier with the help of another person.

Step 4: attach the tent frame crossbar

Attach the cross bar to the tent bed frame

Once the sides are attached to the frame, measure the length you need for the central bar, which will reinforce your frame. To do this, place the uncut strip at the top of the ends (as seen here) and mark the inside of the strip with the pencil.

Attach the cross bar to the tent bed frame

Pre-drill the end of the crossbar in the middle, taking care not to split the wood, and attach the crossbar with the larger screw, drilling it into the end braces beforehand (as seen here).

Step 5: paint your tipi tent bed frame

paint your tipi tent bed frame

For the finishing touch, we decided to paint only the top of the frame. If you want the same effect, protect the strips with some masking tape at the desired height and then paint the top of the ends and the crossbar.

your children's very own tipi tent bed frame

Are your kids ready for more at home adventures? Make them a Montessori tangram puzzle and other toys, DIY connect 4 or even a Lego table with one of our tutorials.

Why not visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home & garden project needs?

Would you like to make Montessori toys for your children? This tutorial will show you how to build a Montessori tangram puzzle and other toys in just a few hours. These toys help your children learn about the world they inhabit, as well as develop their independence while they are playing.

One of the main principles of the Montessori method is to let the child grow and develop at their own pace. In order to achieve this, children are encouraged to participate in a number of activities, involving the manipulation of objects, repetition, or work, but in such a way that they are able to learn things for themselves and build their autonomy.

Montessori toys therefore have the following characteristics:

  • They require few materials and in small quantities
  • They are visually appealing in order to stimulate the child’s curiosity
  • They must be appropriate to the child’s age, neither too simple nor too complicated

In the following tutorial, we will show you a number of Montessori activities for your children to engage with at home. It will barely take you a few hours to make these toys. And what’s more, you can get the little ones to help you in this small DIY project!

Tools and materials

tools you will need to make your Montessori tangram puzzle and toys!

Cost, time and difficulty

If you already have the necessary tools, the cost of materials is less than 20 €. This is clearly well below the sale price of just one of these toys.

In addition, the level of difficulty is easy. You will only need a few hand tools, which you probably already have in your toolbox. It is therefore the perfect project for those of you starting out in the DIY world.

Each of these toys can be built in a couple of hours, and what’s more, most of this time is taken by painting the different pieces.

How to make a Montessori tangram puzzle step by step

A tangram puzzle will help your children learn how to calculate areas and perimeters, understand the Pythagorean Theorem, etc., in a fun and creative way.

The aim of this game is to create different figures with all of its pieces. Children will thus be studying mathematics through play, as they will learn to distinguish different geometric flat shapes, and to calculate their angle, area and perimeter.

In order to build this toy, all you have to do is follow the steps below.

1. Build the puzzle

This puzzle comprises the following pieces:

  • 2 triangles, with sides measuring 8,5 cm
  • 1 triangle, with sides measuring 5.5 cm
  • 2 triangles, with sides measuring 4 cm
  • 1 square, with sides measuring 4 cm
  • 1 rhomboid parallelogram, with sides measuring 6 cm, 2 angles of 45º and 2 angles of 135º

First, using the framing square draw with a pencil the pieces listed above on the MDF board measuring 12×12 cm. Next, cut the pieces with the bow saw.

In the following step, paint each of the pieces with bright colours that are appealing to children. We recommend that you use eco-friendly water-based paint suitable for toys (in compliance with the Toy Safety Standard EN 71-3).

tangram puzzle piece by piece

2. Build the base

The wooden base has a double use:

  • On the one hand it helps children learn to store their toys once they are finished playing with them
  • If you turn it upside down, it can be used as a base on which to arrange the puzzle pieces and create different figures

In order to build it, follow these steps:

  1. Cut 2 strips measuring 16 cm long and 2.2 wide, as well as another 2 measuring 12 cm long and 2.2 cm wide
  2. Join them with grab adhesive to the square wooden base, with sides measuring 20 cm, making sure that you leave a couple of centimetres on each side
build the base of your Montessori tangram puzzle

After following these steps, your children will be able to create numerous figures with their Montessori tangram puzzle, and then store the pieces once they are finished playing.

create figures using your tangram puzzle

Learning numbers with wooden discs

A very fun way for children to learn numbers and arrange them in ascending or descending order, is by playing with wooden discs with numbers painted on. The child will not only learn to distinguish each of the numbers, but they will also be able to manipulate the discs in order to figure out how they are meant to be positioned.

Making this toy is so easy! All you need to do is put a wood screw eye bolt in each of the discs. We recommend that you use pliers to make this easier. Next you can use stencils to paint the numbers on the discs.

create a Montessori numbers toy

And lastly, fix a series of suction hooks on the wall or on a door, such that the child can hang the discs on them, as well as change they position of the hooks.

Montessori numbers game

Geometric shapes and colours with wooden cubes

This toy is perfect for the smallest ones in the house, as they will learn to recognise different geometric shapes and at the same time distinguish different colours. All that you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Using the hand saw and the mitre box, cut a wooden strip measuring 4.4 cm wide into cubes with sides measuring 4.4 cm.
  2. In each of the sides of the cubes paint different geometric shapes (squares, circles, triangles…). All the sides of one cube will have the same geometric shape painted on, just with different colours.
Montessori cubes & geometric shapes

Which one of these three Montessori toys are you going to build first? The Montessori tangram puzzle and the other two toys are each ideal for different ages, so you could build each of them as your children get older. If you would like to make more toys and activities for your children to play with, or to give away as gifts, you can’t miss the following tutorials:

Visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home & gardening project needs!

Tired of stepping on small bricks every morning and picking them up every night after the kids are tucked in? Have you had enough of seeing them in tears when one of their incredible masterpieces has toppled in a heap on the floor? Now it’s your turn to get creative! We’re not joking… Start by stealing 4 large base plates and get to work laying the groundwork for your kids very own Lego® table, which should take no longer than 20 minutes to make. Your kids will be so thrilled they won’t miss the stolen pieces! 🙂

Things you’ll need:

  • a coffee table (we used 55 x 55 cm, the perfect dimensions)
  • large Lego® base plates (for us, 4 plates each measuring 25 x 25 cm)
  • joists (2.5 cm wide on one side and at least 220 cm long)
  • suitable glue (we used “All Purpose Adhesive”, which can be used for both the corner strips and Lego® plates)
  • tape measure
  • sandpaper
  • wood saw and a mitre box (or mitre saw if you have one)
  • pencil

How to make your Lego® table

The Lego® table is made up of base plates and a wooden frame. The latter is made from wood corner strips to make an edge that’s comfy for little arms and aesthetically pleasing as well.
Before you start to panic, don’t worry: making the frame is child’s play!

Step 1: Measure and calculate the length of the frame

For this first step, we must return to primary school because it requires a bit of maths.
Measure the table width and add the thickness of your wood corner strip + 1 mm. Our table (seen here) measured 55 cm and our wood corner strip, 3 mm. That gave us 55 + 0.3 + 0.1 = 55.4 mm.

Measure and calculate the length of the frame

Step 2: Cut bevelled edges for your frame

Use the mitre box to cut the ends of your strip at 45° angles. The measurements, which we calculated in step 1, correspond to the outer edge of the strip (where the angle is) so the inner edge will be smaller.

Cut wood for your frame

Step 3: Sand the strips for your frame

Sand the corners of your strips with sandpaper so that they are smooth and splinter-free.

Sand the strips of wood to create your DIY Lego table

Step 4: Glue the strips on the edge of your table

Add a line of adhesive along the edge of the table and glue each strip on top. Adjust the ends of each strip so that the connection fits together as tightly as possible.

Glue the strips on the edge of your Lego table

Tips: 

  • You can use a clamp, which is a great way of keeping your strips in place while the glue dries.
  • If your connection doesn’t fit together perfectly, add some matching wood filler.

Step 5: Glue the Lego® base plates onto your table

Glue the base plates together edge-to-edge. Add glue beads at all four angles of each plate and one in the centre. Leave the whole thing to dry and place a weight on each plate.

Glue the Lego plates onto your table

Presto: your table is finished, and the fun can now begin! Unless you want to turn the project into an art class too, in which case you can paint it in your little one’s favourite colour.

Create your very own DIY Lego table - tutorial DIY

Level up!
Want to keep playing? Take your skills to the next level with more tutorials! Check out our fun articles for children for lots of inspiring ideas!

Visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home and garden project needs.

Would you like instil in your children a love of reading from early on? With this tutorial on how to make a Montessori method bookcase you will be able to create an inspiring reading corner in your children’s room. They will be able to have all their stories and books at hand and enjoy reading them at any time. And not only that, thanks to this method to build your Montessori bookcase, you will also be stimulating their development and growth.

Reading brings many benefits to children and it is therefore important to get them started early on. Parents are advised to introduce children to reading from the age of one with books containing large drawings and a small amount of text. By encouraging your child to read you will be helping:

  • Develop their memory and language, increasing their vocabulary
  • Foster their imagination, as they will create a representation of what they read in their mind
  • Become familiar with texts and make a habit of reading by the time they get to school

On the other hand, if you want this reading corner to be an authentic Montessori method bookcase, it needs to have the following characteristics:

  • Storybooks should be easily accessible for the child, and the height of the bookcase should be adjusted to them
  • Books should be easy to locate for the child, so that they can pick one up and put it back once they have finished reading it
  • The book covers should be visible, for the child to be able to easily select their preferred book
  • The bookcase should be in a comfortable and calm area, so that the child can read in peace

We have built this Montessori bookcase following these guidelines, and now you can build it yourself with this tutorial.

Tools and materials

herramientas y materiales para hacer una librería Montessori

Cost, time and difficulty

If you already have the necessary tools, the total cost of materials is less than 50€. Considering that this type of bookcases can cost anything between 70€ and 170€, you could save a significant amount of money! And what’s more, since you are building it yourself, you will be able to adapt the bookcase to the dimensions and decoration of your children’s room.

The level of difficulty is medium, as it requires some experience using some of the tools, like for example the jigsaw. It is for this reason the perfect project for DIY-ers already used to small projects.

It has taken us about 8 hours to finish this Montessori method bookcase, but keep in mind that a significant amount of this time was spent painting and decorating it.

How to make your Montessori method bookcase step by step

Montessori furniture is tailored to the children’s height, to make sure that they can reach everything without anybody’s help. This allows for the healthy development of their curiosity and independence.

This Montessori method bookcase will not only make for a wonderful reading corner to encourage your children’s love of reading from a small age, it will also play an integral role in their playtime. In order to achieve this, we have painted piano keys on the front of the bookcase, as well as various musical notes all over it. The bookcase not only helps organise the child’s storybooks, it will also stimulate their senses.

You can easily build a DIY Montessori bookcase like the one in this tutorial by following these steps:

1. Cut the pieces

First we cut the MDF or DM board, with which we will build the bookcase structure. Cut the following pieces with the jigsaw:

  • 2 triangles measuring 50 cm on each side and 1,9 cm thick, which will make up the bookcase’s sides. In addition to this, cut one side of each triangle –  the diagonal sides of the bookcase – in the shape of waves
  • 6 strips measuring 50x6x1.9 cm to join the sides of the bookcase together. These will be attached at the base and at the height of each shelf
  • 1 backboard measuring 50x50x0.3 cm, 1 backboard measuring 50x30x0.3 cm and 1 backboard measuring 50x8x0.3 cm for each shelf
  • 1 board measuring 50x28x0.3 cm and 1 board measuring 50x12x0.3 cm for the back of the middle and the top shelves
cut the pieces of plywood to make your bookcase

We recommend that you sand the wave patterns that you have cut with the jigsaw in order to have uniform and smooth edges.

2. How to assemble the bookcase structure

In the following step we will assemble the bookcase structure. First join with screws the strips measuring 6 cm in height to the sides of the bookcase in order to create three different levels.

Next nail the 0,3 cm thick backboards at each level, such that:

  • the 50 cm deep backboard is nailed to the strips at the base of the bookcase
  • the 30 cm deep backboard is nailed to the bottom part of the middle shelf, which is at a height of 24 cm
  • the 8 cm deep backboard is nailed to the bottom part of the top shelf, which is at a height of 44 cm

Lastly, the 28 cm tall panel is joined with carpenter’s glue to the back part of the middle shelf – its bottom part will stand on 3 square strips measuring 8 cm long. The 12 cm tall panel is then glued to the top shelf.

assemble the Montessori method bookcase

3. Painting and decorating your Montessori method bookcase

Next we will paint and decorate this Montessori method bookcase. For this tutorial we have chosen a white water-based varnish to paint the bookcase structure and a black varnish for the decorative motifs.

We have aimed to integrate the idea of play into the decoration, and so we have painted piano keys on the front, and various musical notes all over the bookcase. The idea is to stimulate our children’s senses and their creativity.

We have used painter’s tape and a permanent marker to paint the piano keys. You can use stencils for the musical notes.

paint and decorate your montessori method bookcase

We recommend that you use eco-friendly paints, free of toxic ingredients, in order to reduce the risk of your children developing chemical sensitivity.

4. How to build the drawers

In the last step we will build the drawers which will rest on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. With these drawers the child will easily access all parts of the bookcase. These are the steps we will follow:

  1. Cut 4 wooden boards measuring 25x9x1 cm each and another 4 measuring 35x9x1 cm each, as well as 8 strips measuring 9×2.2×2.2 cm, with the help of the saw and the miter box
  2. Glue the strips to each of the corners that will make up the drawer
  3. Secure the joining points with the nailer
  4. Cut and attach the MDF backboard measuring 35x25x0.3 cm
cut & glue your wooden boards together

After following these steps, all that is left to do is to insert the drawers and our bookcase will be ready.

Montessori method bookcase

We can also encourage the child to be part of making their own reading corner, by having them organise the storybooks themselves.

Montessori method bookcase

This bookcase will clearly not only help nurture their love of reading, but it will also stimulate your children’s fun and play thanks to its piano shape.

montessori method bookcase and piano

Did you enjoy this tutorial on how to make an original piano shaped Montessori method bookcase? If you liked it and would like to build more according to the Montessori learning method, check out this article on creating your very own Montessori tangram puzzle and toys. Or why not check out our fun articles for children?

Visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home & garden and project needs.

Do you remember back in school when you used to generate light with a potato in physics class? Back then the short flickering of the light bulb was already a pretty impressive sight. Today it gets even better: a potato can actually power a LED lamp for several days. A reminder for those of you who have hidden this physics lesson in the back of your brain: in oder to generate electricity from a potato, we need not only the potato, but also various metals, namely zinc and copper. These metals trigger a chemical reaction in the potato, which then generates electricity. The scientist Haim Rabinowitch, from the Jerusalem Hebrew University in Israel, discovered that electrons move much more freely in a boiled potato, and thus its efficiency increases considerably. For this reason, in this experiment the potato should have been cooked for 8 minutes. We are using a LED lamp in order to make it light up for longer, as these light bulbs require only a fraction of the energy of a conventional light bulb.

How to generate light with a potato

You will need:

  • 2 small boiled potatoes or 1 big potato cut in half
  • 2 copper rods (you can also use coins)
  • 3 copper cables
  • 2 zinc rods (you can also use nails)
  • 1 small 1.5 V lamp (or a clock powered by a small battery, as shown in the picture below)
Generate light with a potato

How to make a potato lamp step by step

1. First, attach a copper wire to each of the two copper rods.

2. Next insert the copper rods into each of the potatoes (as shown in the picture below).

3. Attach the third wire to a zinc rod and insert it into one of the potatoes.

Connecting potatoes to electricity

4. Take the tip of the wire from one of the copper rods and attach it to the other zinc rod. We have connected the two potatoes together.

5. The zinc rod can then be inserted into the other potato.

6. Now take the two loose ends of the cables (make sure the copper doesn’t come into contact!) and connect it to the light bulb or the clock.

Create light from a potato

And there was light!

Try your hand at this quick science project! It is very easy and if you do it right, you can make the electricity generated from just one potato last several days!

We can’t wait to see if one day whole households will be powered by potatoes!

Did you enjoy reading this article? Why not see how to make your very own herb garden or how to grow fruit trees from seeds? Alternative do a search on fun articles for children!

Looking for tools to complete your projects? Visit ManoMano for all your DIY, home & garden needs.