10-Minute DIY Thingamaboard: A simple versatile wooden toy for creative kids via barley and birch
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All, Make

Make: A Thingamaboard!

We are putting our safety goggles on and pulling out the power tools today! Admittedly, this DIY is one of my more random ideas, but while trying to use up some spare wood, I kind of stumbled upon it and – honestly – I have never had more fun!  You only need a few simple materials and 10 minutes to make this super versatile fun toy – we’re calling it a “Thingamaboard” and *you* decide what it can be…this is an imagination encourager for all ages! Here’s what you’ll need…


  • A piece of scrap wood
  • Dowel Rods (we used different sizes, you wouldn’t have to though)
  • Sandpaper
  • Drill
  • Drill Bits or Spade Bits (depending on the size of your dowel rods)
  • Optional: wood glue, non-toxic eco friendly craft paints, non-toxic wood stain or sealer


I made this *especially* super-easy for myself and bought a bag of pre-cut dowels of different sizes. After drilling some random holes in my square of scrap wood and the tops and sides of some of the dowels, sanding the edges, and inserting the rods – BOOM! It was ready for some creative play! We didn’t paint it, but you definitely could, and we wanted our dowels to be able to be removed, but you could glue those in (or on, if you don’t want to mess with drilling holes).

File Feb 03, 11 23 43 AM
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So, you’re going to make this, and sit down with your kids, and frankly, its going to look a little “meh” – but add just the teensiest bit of imagination and the possibilities for playing with this are ENDLESS! For instance, wth just a few added elements from around the house it can become…

A campsite in the mountains…

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A jungle paradise for some little monkeys…

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A game of ring toss for teams…

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You guys – we could go on and on!!! A few of the things we haven’t yet put together, but are on our list are:

  • A finger puppet theater
  • A pipe cleaner sculpture
  • A construction site with ropes and pulleys for our legos

We would LOVE to see what you guys think of! Don’t forget to take pics of your Thingamaboard creations and tag us (@barleyandbirch or #barleyandbirch) – we can’t wait to see and share the creativity of our b & b’ers!  Love this? Want to pass it on? Please, please do! Our only request is that if you repost somewhere, you include a shout-out back to us with the original link to this post instead of a direct link to the files – we appreciate it!

For more pics of our own Thingamaboard creations check us out on Instagram and for more  fun projects to inspire a little creativity and free play, visit us on Pinterest!

10-Minute DIY Thingamaboard: A simple versatile wooden toy for creative kids via barley and birch
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About Amanda Eldridge

With a passion for cultivating imagination, Amanda aims to help families discover their creative potential and be inspired to make the world a better place through art, play, adventure, activism, conservancy, and community. When not playing with ideas, designs and projects for barley & birch, Amanda enjoys working as a modern art curator and managing her own small design business.

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