Free Building Blocks

For the past several weeks, my husband has been spending his weekends building stud walls in our basement.  He’s making great progress and should be finished in plenty of time for our framing inspection (it has to be completed by the end of the year).

Building stud walls means lots of 2×4 offcuts.  They were starting to stack up in the basement, and we had planned to give them to my parents to use as firewood.  Then one day our son was down there with us and started stacking them up to make a house.  He was having so much fun with them that we filled an old Rubbermaid storage container with offcuts and brought it upstairs.


For two weeks now, that bin has been sitting in our dining room.  And every day our son empties it out and builds all sorts of awesome stuff with the chunks of wood.  He makes houses, cities, castles, porches, roads… it’s pretty much endless fun.

These blocks are easy for him to pick up by himself at the end of the day and put back into the container.  They don’t end up under the couch or in our shoes like their miniature cousins.  And he absolutely loves playing with them.

If you have small children and a construction project going on, a box full of offcuts is a great free toy.  If you don’t have your own walls to build, check the free section on Craigslist.  There are always people giving away scrap lumber, and you could just chop it up into child sized pieces. 

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  1. ScottS says

    We have done this too – although we bought 4 or so 2x4s to make blocks (lot’s of blocks). Even buying lumber specifically for this, at $2.50 or so a 2×4, it is frugal. We cut about 3 different sizes. If one has an electric sander, I suggest sanding quickly over the blocks to take the sharp edges left by the saw off, especially if your kids are young – taking splinters out of toddlers’ hands is no fun!

  2. says

    What a great idea! I used to love large building blocks like that when I was in pre-school. We don’t have kids yet, but when we do I am definitely going to be making some of these.

  3. FrugalBabe says

    Diedra – trust me, he needs lots of encouragement! It usually takes a while and involves lots of distractions, but it eventually gets done.

  4. says

    Wooden blocks make the best of toys! My two little boys have had hours of fun with them. Real wood makes such a difference too! I’m writing to share my new family oriented website of free stories, poems, early reading practice and adventures for children. I’m hoping you and your family and readers will enjoy it!

    Best Wishes,

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