Busy Boards

7 Materials
4 Hours

Toddlers are a busy bunch, right??!! Besides being a blogger I also have a small home daycare and have been working with little ones for a looooong time!! I've wanted to put a busy board together for awhile...I knew the kids would love it! I actually had 2 different boards in mind to DIY; I wanted to make one that focused on fine motor skill development and one that was more sensory and incorporated fun textures.

Dollar Tree was where I found most of the things for my busy boards. They were stocked for back to school and had all kinds of cool, fun things I could use.

Raid your junk drawer...there are probably all kinds of things in there that could be used for your own busy board.

What Can You Use To Attach To A Busy Board?

I knew I wanted to have some items that teach skills they will need for getting dressed themselves; for this skill I'm adding a zipper, paracord bracelets for opening/closing clips, velcro, and shoe tying.

Dollar Tree had so many textured items to use. I found some fuzzy circle clips, a sequined sleeve for a coffee cup, a magnet, and some pretty ribbon.

I grabbed a few wooden items...I actually didn't know what I was going to do with them but got them anyway. Some of my projects are free form and I start by going in one direction and end up going in a complete opposite way!

I bought a couple of door locks and a light switch at Walmart. I rifled through my tool box and found a few more interesting things.

Making The Board

I used a panel from Lowe's that measured 16 x 48 inches.

I cut it down the middle with my saw to make 2 busy boards.

I painted the boards with 2 coats of white semi gloss paint and let the boards dry overnight before moving on the the next step.

Paint The Wooden Items

I painted a quick coat of colorful acrylic paints on all the wooden items that I wanted to use.

Attaching The Items

It took me awhile to figure out how I was going to lay everything out on the boards. I didn't even end up using everything I purchased. I started by attaching all the wooden items to the boards. I drilled pilot holes before attaching with screws to the boards (the wood is pretty weak and would have split if I just tried to screw them directly on.)

I used a small hinge to attach the wood square and added a knob to make it a door.

Underneath I Mod Podged a cute kitty picture so when the kids open the door they have a surprise waiting!

I glued a row of wood disks and wrote 1-5 on them.

Gorilla Glue is what I recommend when gluing odd items to the boards. It was so strong and had held everything securely in place ( even with not so gentle kids playing with them now for weeks!)


Finished Activity Board

My activity board has a combination of motor skills that the kids can practice. I did a combination of "around the house" skills like a door latch, door chain, a wheel, light switch, and light. I also added a few "dress myself" skills with a shoe lacing station, velcro, belt clip, and mirror (I have a small comb they can practice combing their hair) .

Finished Sensory Board

The finished sensory board had so many fun different textures: there's the furry circles ( I zip tied them onto the knob), soft ribbon,a bumpy unicorn, color changing sequins, buttons, and pom poms (in the drawer that the kids can use for counting). I also added a shoe lacing station ( I did it by screwing eye hooks into the mini wooden pallet and adding the shoe lace through the hooks) because it seems to be a lost art among youngsters!

They are definitely a hit with the kids!

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Jennifer Howard| Cottage On Bunker Hill
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Frequently asked questions
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  • Flipturn Flipturn on Aug 19, 2020

    Is there a magnet on the little kitty door, or how does it stay shut and not swing open when the board is upright?

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