DIY Sensory Board!
Once upon a time, in a land far far away, there lived a teeny tiny dainty little lady who had baby toys. While she had these toys, she was not a huge fan of them. No. What she liked was the non toys, the things that just were, like yoga blocks, spatulas and picture frames. When asked why, she gave a simple response of yayayayayaya, and just continued to scour her lands for the things that were not designed for her enjoyment.
Then, one day, the King and Queen of the land made the decision that they would not fill their lands with baby toys, but instead, would fill it with boxes that have been turned into cars and telephone booths, homemade shakers and wooden spatulas. But that wasn't enough, nope, this teeny tiny dainty little lady needed more real stuff. So, on another day, while the King was away catching fishies, the Queen got to work building...dun dun dun... a sensory board.
I'm done talking like a narrator, exit hook, it me. So I decided to tackle this project on a day that the hubs was gone because, why not, #challenges. Ellie and I, being the Home Depot proficionados that we are, went to Depot, and toot toot, parked on the lumber side because we know that store like the back of our hand. We walked in and headed straight for an end cap to gather two sheets of pre cut pre sanded 2x2 plywood [later the hubs would inform me that we could have an entire sheet of plywood for the cost of two tiny 2x2 sheets, oops. When this momma bear has a wild hair, I gots ta act on it, and I didn't feel like using the table saw on this day. Also rain.].
We then collected an assortment of items that were going to be used on the sensory board. Anything could really go here, so long as they are screwed in and/ or finagled in a way that is safe, I'll list all of the items I chose at the end. I SHOULD have grabbed a box of tiny baby screws to use, you'll find out why in a sec. My plan was to use the front side as a sensory board, and then on the back attach a scroll thingy so it becomes a make-shift easel [oops, haven't done that yet]. This could be a way cheaper project if you find these items at a garage sale or something. Buying brand new from Depot can be pricey. Fair warning:)
Hi Ho Hi Ho, It's Off to Work We GoWhen E and I got all of the supplies home, twas her nap time, so I put her night night and got to sanding away at the boards. They are presanded, but for use with baby girl, I wanted them smooth as Ellie's lettle bottom. Once I sanded them, corners and all, I wiped off the excess dust, took them outside and spray painted both boards with gold Rust Oleum's spray paint- lazy girls way out of painting, but hey, it works. I let those bad boys dry, then got to work.
Ellie was hanging out in the swing holding onto the toilet paper roller [brand new, don't worry] while I screwed everything in. She was not a very happy camper when momma used the drill, she's gotten funny about loud sounds. I thought about placement based on the fact that a baby would be using them, so I put any head knockers low and put handle-ey type things towards the middle so she could climb them. It seems to have worked well so far. No head knocks [knock on wood, but not with your head].Ellie loves this thing, so I'd like to think of that as a win, even though she hasn't shown interest in EVERYTHING yet, their time shall come. Like right now, she really has no interest in unlocking the door for anyone, so I just show her how, and one day she may show interest in unlatching it. If you'd like to make one of these bad boys for your little, here are the supplies you'll need, and mind you, you can tweak these to your own liking.
2- 2x2 sanded boards
2- door hinges
Drawer pull- multiple
Battery operated push light
Door flingy thingy
Toilet paper roller
Zipper from a pair of jeans
Real Life: Here are the imperfect moments of this DIY sensory board. Also, it took me a good month to finish the front. If I was a super hero, I would have been able to finish in like a day, but alas, I am not. With her name on the top, I found a bunch of random textures, and hot glued them to cardboard letters that I cut out [you could just buy the letters at Michaels if you feel like spending an extra $10, I did not], giving her a different kind of sensory experience.Of course, this was AFTER I simply painted the cardboard letters and used double sided carpet tape [you're looking at the queen of using whatever I've got on hand for projects to avoid going out to get them, also known as a jerry rigging] to stick them to the board [we were out of hot glue...again, a month]. Once I admitted defeat and got my tookus to Michaels, I hot glued the stink outta those bad boys to the board, because the first go around, E bug totally started pulling them off right away, oops<- picture to prove it. Her name was Eli for a few days.If I can be supercalifragilisticFRANK with you, I also had to rescrew everything in with new tiny screws after the hubs came home and gave me the big eyes- his reaction to the screws popping out of the back and my response of 'oh I'll just put some padding on them so they don't poke anyone, or more specifically, our child.' I initially just used the screws that were included with the things I bought. Oops. Now all fingers can be safe, including my own, but more importantly, Ellie's.Oh and more thing, when Jeff and I started dating, we went to the Cummer Art Museum in Jacksonville, and painted very professional watercolor paintings. I decided these would be excellent items to stick onto the board for a bit of a visual experience, and to remind us of that sweet memory erryday. I did not however, correctly gauge Ellie's strength. So the corner of my boxy art was pulled up, then eaten, later to be reinforced by the magic of hot glue. You're welcome. Also, as a last minute add, I grabbed a pair of jeans that were in the donation bin, and cut out the zipper on them. I then hot glued the ish out of it so E could have a zipper to work on those fiiiiiiine motor skills. This one will probably be a hit in a few weeks, it is still making it's way up to the top 20.Okay, so to finish, this project can be as hard or as easy as you want to make it. I've seen these things with notch cut outs to make a zigzag pattern, then with a knob finagled so kiddos can move it. I almost did that, but I decided not to because, well life. Enjoy building it if you feel so obliged. Check out Pinterest for ideas on sensory boards, there are loads. It doesn't have to be picture perfect or measured to the tee, unless your super anal about that stuff, then go ham. Let me know if you've ever created one of these for your littles or something like it. How did it go? Tell me in the comments! Toodles for now:)