For many parents, we need activities to keep our children occupied and not glued to a screen. Hello, busy boards! My daughter loves playing with everything, like all children. She is fascinated by the cabinet doors, any moving handle, drawers, etc,. After seeing busy boards or sensory boards online for $100+, I decided to make my own for a fraction of the cost.
Do Busy Boards Help With Sensory Development?
Busy boards are a great addition to your child’s everyday routine. They can help improve your child’s fine and gross motor skills, learn different textures and encourage problem solving .
How to make a busy board for cheap
I made my daughter a DIY busy board for less than $50!
My wonderful husband was able to find this large piece of plywood left over from another project. It was in rough shape, but nothing a grinder couldn’t fix. He rounded off the corners and any sharp wood splits. I filled in a few large splits with wood filler and sanded it down.
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Plywood is not the nicest looking wood and that is ok. A little left over paint from Scareltt’s nursery gave it a nice face-lift. Painting her name was trickier. I am by no means an artist, but I did come up with this idea.
- Go into Microsoft Word
- Find a font you like
- Choose the appropriate size
- Print out the name
- Cut out each letter
- Tape letters to board
- Trace letters with a pencil
- Paint with a small brush a color of your choice
What To Put On Your DIY Busy Board (Sensory Board)
Once you are satisfied with the overall look of the board, decide which items you want to include. Take some time and observe your child. Which items do they enjoy playing with the most? Are you wanting your child to work on a certain motor skill? Learn colors or letters? Personalize your busy board to help your child learn and thrive. You want to keep your child busy, but also want them to learn at the same time. Get creative! Kids love playing with anything! Popular items for busy boards are:
- Keyboards, old phones, calculators
- Cabinet handles, door knobs, latches
- Zipper, pieces of textured fabrics, buttons
- Faucet handles, light switches, door stoppers
- Buckles, key chains, shoelaces, mirror
Be sure to choose items that are NOT small enough for your child to swallow.
The few items we purchased for the busy board can be found at your local hardware store. The items purchased were:
- Door stopper – $2.58
- Slide door latch – $4.48
- 2 quick links – $2.58/ea
- Chest handle – $3.98
- Gate Latch – $5.68
- Faucet valve – $6.44
- Swivel wheel – $4.98/2 pk
You can also find great deals on Amazon!
Total of $33.30!!! All other items on the busy board were left over from other projects or items not being used around the house.
How-To Attach Items To Your Busy Board
Most of the items are attached with screws from our “junk” drawer. I attached the keyboard and ball valve using velcro and zipties. I wanted extra security for these items since babies and toddlers do not know their own strength at times.