My name is Rachael and I am so excited to guest post on Liz’s blog! I am the creator and writer at Mama of Minis. I am a mom to two sweet minis, ages 2 and 8 months. My blog focuses on crafts and activities for kids, gluten and dairy-free recipes, and mom-life tips in general. I have a background in early childhood education and recently decided to take a break from 7 years of teaching Kindergarten to stay home with my minis. I love being a stay-at-home Mom and am always looking for new and exciting things to do with my babes. I can’t wait to share more with you! If you like what you see feel free to head over to my blog and check it out here (and even subscribe!). Thanks so much to Liz for hosting me on her blog. I am so thankful!
I am so excited to share today’s post with you. I am always coming up with ideas for my husband to help execute and this one is a new favorite. My minis have been going stir-crazy in the winter with nowhere to go and the weather too cold to play outside. My husband and I whipped up this busy board in less than 2 hours and it turned out great. My minis love it so much and it has activities that they both are engaged in. They keep coming back to play with it over and over.
As a parent do you ever ask yourself why kids seem to love playing with things they shouldn’t be? Whether that be the remote you can never seem to find or the light switch that keeps getting turned on, toddlers are constantly curious about the items around them.
A busy board not only keeps little ones occupied for hours it also works on skills crucial to their development. Whether that be fine motor or problem-solving skills, creating a board for your toddler will help with it all.
The best part of a DIY busy board is you can customize it to your toddler’s needs and even swap out items as they get older and want to explore something new. Have a toddler that’s interested in trucks? Add a wheel, a horn, and some keys. Maybe yours is more into art. Add some different paintbrush tops and make your board more colorful.
On our busy board we added a car/ball ramp because my mini loves to play with cars. We also added door stops because my 8-month-old had recently started crawling and discovered the fun noises that door stops make. We added zippers and shoelaces to help my mini practice the skill of getting dressed and ready by herself. We also chose to add the letters in the alphabet to her board to help with her letter recognition skills. There are so many things that you can add and do to personalize the boards.
The hardest part in making a busy board for us was shopping to pick out the items for it. Many of them we had around the house from my husband’s various DIY home projects. We also went to Dollar Tree and Menards (our closest hardware store) and found quite a few extra items to add. For our board, we used three pieces of melamine panel particle board that my husband bought on clearance from Menards and put them together to save some money. Check out below for directions on how to make a DIY busy board.
DIY BUSY BOARD.
⁂This list can be customized based on the items you have on hand or the items your toddler is interested in.
- Door Locks
- Door Stops
- Door handles/knobs
- Magnetic Drip Pan
- Magnetic Letters
- Wooden Letters
- PVC Pipes
- Push Lights
- Light Switches
- Door Bells
- Hot Glue
- Large Board
- Corded Phones
- Decide how large of space you have for your busy board. Is it going to sit on their lap or maybe be larger and sit against a wall? Then cut the board to size out of the material of choice.
- Select the items that you want to add to your board.
- Layout all of the items in the places that you would like to attach to on the board to make sure that you like the layout. Think about what will be under ramps, which items you want closer to the ground, etc…
- Attach items one at a time to the board. Pre-drill pilot holes to help screws go into the board easier. Screw-in hinges, doorknobs, doorstops, wheels, latches, the drip pan, the zippers, buckles, PVC pipes, and any other items that will be pulled on and need extra reinforcement.
- Pre-paint any wooden letters, containers, etc…Then use a hot glue gun to glue on any wooden letters, calculator, lights, and containers.
- Using screws, add a chain and attach any locks to the chains so that they can be opened and closed and added onto the loops of the chain.
- Add eye bolts to your board and string laces to the bolt end.
⁂If you are using a large heavy board make sure to attach it to the wall or have your mini play with it while flat on the floor so that it doesn’t fall.
- Once you’ve attached all of the items that you want on your busy board let everything dry (if using hot glue) and then your minis can play and learn!