Handmade Activity Board for Kids

3 Materials
1 Day

In this post I show you how to make a custom activity center or sensory board for your toddler. These make great gifts and are really pretty simple to make. We made this one with a lot of things we had on hand. However, you could make it any way you like.

Step 1: Purchase or locate a piece of plywood. I used what we had on hand, and it was not the smoothest piece. If you were to purchase a piece, look for one without many blemishes. This one was 27"x24"

Step 2: Paint or stain your plywood. I would only suggest staining a higher quality piece of plywood.

Step 3: If you would like stripes like mine. Use 2" blue painters tape and 1" blue painters tape spaced evenly. My stripes were .5" apart and there are 7" between the groups of stripes.

Step 4: Paint white paint over the blue. Spray paint seems to work better, but I did not have any on hand. Pull the tape off while the paint is still wet, this helps to prevent bleeding under the tape. Since my plywood was a little rough, my stripes are not perfect.

Step 5: Once the paint is dry, start assembling your board. The sky is the limit with what you put on here. My littlest son loves opening and closing doors, so we incorporated two doors that have pictures behind them. He also enjoys flipping light switches, so we put a light switch on there. Casters are fun to spin, so we included one of those. Locks and hinges are on there too. There is also a battery operated flick light that he can turn on and off. On the bottom we added a piece of galvanized sheet metal and some magnets. A timer is at the top. I also think a little mirror would be fun.

Many of these items we had on hand. For the doors we used more plywood that I covered with contact paper. My doors are 7"x 7". The glass knobs were on hand. I did purchase the sheet of metal and that was around $6. The flick light was around $3 and a couple of the locks were around $2 a piece. We also bought a package of screws that were shorter so that they didn't poke through the back.

This would be best hung low on a wall so that it is secure. I hope this tutorial inspires you to make your own activity or sensory board for your toddler or for a gift! For more handmade kids gift ideas, I have a post on my blog at The Everyday Farmhouse.

Resources for this project:

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

16 Ways to Showcase Your Herb Garden
Craft Organization Ideas Mom Will Love
18 Adorable Container Garden Ideas To Copy This Spring
18 Easy DIY Projects That You Can Do This Weekend!
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
13 Spectacular Ways To Display Your House Number
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
23 Insanely Clever Ways To Eliminate Clutter
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
30 Ways To Use Old Jeans For Brilliant Craft Ideas
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
Jenn Dynys

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Debbi Gosdin-Burke
    on Nov 30, 2019

    Gtrambo, I hate sounding dumb but what does but what does burnish it to the wood mean and help me to understand your instruction for the perfect stripe. Thanking you in advance for possibly a little more detail???

Join the conversation

3 of 9 comments
  • Jenn Dynys
    on Dec 1, 2019

    I'm so glad! I hope he gets the chance to make one!

  • Christie Decker
    on Dec 1, 2019

    This idea is grand. It takes those fabric books for infants up a notch or two. I thank you for posting it.

    I have a grandson, almost 5, with Down syndrome. This would give him something to 'work on' while Daddy is working with his projects. Awesome idea. I think his upcoming birthday will be special with one of these. Blessings!

    • Jenn Dynys
      on Dec 1, 2019

      Thank you for sharing that! I think it’s a great way to keep little ones occupied....it doesn’t look like a toy, so it’s more appealing!

Your comment...