I had plans to make this color matching toy for her months ago but got side tracked and totally forgot about it. I decided to go ahead and make it anyway because I thought she would enjoy playing with it. I am considering added numbers to this toy in the future because she is very interested in numbers at the moment. For now she is having fun matching the color of the little peg man and his cup.
This is a really simple toy to make and it cost very little. I bought the little wooden peg men and cups from the craft supply store (I think it was Michael's but Ive seen them at Hobby Lobby too). For 6 of each, using coupons I spent less than $5. I used regular watercolor paints (melissa & doug was what I had on hand but any brand would do). I finished them off with natural beeswax polish (Three BEEautiful Bees is the brand I used)
Once you have your pieces, check them to make sure the pegs fit into the cups. I had to sand several of the cups and pegs to get them to fit well. You need them to go in and out smoothly and leave a little extra space because the watercolors will make them expand slightly and the wax will make them slightly sticky.
I found that the pegs and cups were quite varied in size so I made sure that each peg fit into a cup and kept them together.
I let these dry a couple of days before applying the beeswax polish. Usually watercolors dry pretty quickly, they were probably done in a couple of hours but I didn't check. To apply the beeswax, just take a small amount and wipe it all over each piece, including the inside of the cups and allow to dry overnight. The next day take a dry, lint free cloth and buff the surface of each piece, including inside the cup. You really just need to wipe off enough that it doesn't feel very sticky and the pegs slide easily into the cups. At this point you are done! I let them sit for a couple of days before giving them to B just because we had other things planned. I noticed that the stickiness was totally gone after a couple of days.
I placed these on a small tray for B, but a basket would work well too. If you have a smaller child a basket would be easier to carry.