This DIY Sensory board and latch board was something that has been our longest lasting toy. My busy-body baby was constantly in need of sensory activities and stimulation when she was 5-7 months old. Through learning to crawl, walk, and get into things, the sensory board is still a favorite and still provides great entertainment! I collected household objects for months with intentions to make a board and it finally happened. The idea is not new, but maybe some of the items are so I thought I would share it with you and to show how it has morphed over time since she was a baby and now that she is 2.
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A wonderful mom from a local babywearing group is moving out of state and kindly gave her homemade sensory board! So while I did do much of this and it has evolved into something that is our own, the credit for the original board goes to her. So, Thank you SO MUCH Bekki for providing us with the original board! Getting it gave me the motivation to get it done with my extra tub of items. You can get a pre-cut piece of wood at your local hardware store. In fact, many have scrap wood that was cut incorrectly (cull lumber) for even about $0.50. But if you’re like me, you either have one car in your family or just can’t get motivated to go. So this is me, telling you, take the plunge and get the stuff! Your baby will thank you for it.
The MUST HAVE items include:
- A basic wooden board
- Cable clips for harder to attach items like chains.
The original board had the following:
- three different chains made out of heavy metal, plastic, and lighter metal
- a slide lock
- a chain lock
- a push light
- a mirror
- something reflective
- carpet sample scraps
- a door stop (this is her favorite since it “boings”)
What Should you Consider Adding to the Sensory Board?
- a plastic buckle from something like an old sleeping-bag that was ruined.
- I used a silky ribbon from a destroyed gift bag to fasten it to the board stapled with an upholstery staple gun
- To do this staple one side, make sure the buckle is fastened, pull taut but not too tight, and staple the other side.
- A battery operated Doorbellor even a light switch with a real light if you were to make the board into a table.
- Some sliding tighteners from old backpacks and bags (that have seen better days)
- Again, I stapled it down using a piece of cloth ribbon from some packaging I did not throw away
- I had a carabiner of my own that I decided not to use anymore
- A simple Sliding Door Latch
- A travel lock. I used gift bag rope to staple the keys on the board too.
- A silky gift bag rope with a clothes pin (clothes pins are a big hit for us)
- old binder rings (Like the ones used for holding note cards together)
- A travel velcro wallet (it will be stapled to the board as well.)
- A Crescent Lock to flip and spin
- A piece of furry cloth (think of troll hair for those 80s and 90s kids out there or the fur on a santa hat)
- An old belt can be cut so that they can learn to thread and latch it cut the buckle off and the very end with holes and staple both sides to the board
- A Surface Mount Draw Latch like what you would find on a chest.
- Shoe laces
- Yarn scraps
- A crank handle
- A pully with a small rope.
- Twist and lever door knobs! (that is, if you want them getting into rooms at an early age 😉 )
I had planned on framing it in a picture frame, but instead we propped it up in front of a floor lamp in the corner to prevent her from messing with the lamp! (Has worked like a charm for months)
Our board is in a constant state of evolution. While many items stay, more and more get added or changed as the months go by. I was also asked for some closer pictures of some of what’s on the board so I have added them below!
**Update 2** This is another sensory and latch board that I made as a prize donation to the local Great Cloth Diaper Change event. I added a small chalkboard area, some different textures, a belt, a handle, and of course the quote.In the top picture, I have yarn, elastic, gift ribbon, silky ribbon, and floral tape and in the bottom right of the last image is a simple pull chain socket for a lamp. We included it so that we could save our table lamp!
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