The Ultimate Activity for Your Toddler (and You!)

If you’re anything like me then you really aren’t a fan of the cold weather. Also, if you’re anything like me you are doing everything you can to keep yourself and your kid(s) busy this time of the year, without freezing to death. So about a year ago I decided to look into things that would keep me and my son busy. Then I came across the busy board.

A busy board is a board that well… is meant for your little one or ones to keep busy. It’s just as the name suggests. These things looked so cool and like it would be a lot of fun for my toddler. Naturally at this point I was intrigued, because who wouldn’t be??

 

So I looked into buying one. And let me tell you, you would be better off making one for the price people sell these things for. So that’s just what I did.

First, I did some research. What did I want on my busy board for my busy toddler? What are things that I think would keep him occupied? So we headed down to our local hardware store to shop around.

We ended up buying:

  • 2 spinning wheels
  • Circular reflectors
  • A light switch and switch plate
  • A click on/off light
  • A water valve handle
  • A slide lock
  • A drawer knob
  • A drawer handle
  • 2 door stoppers (the springy kind)
  • Eyelet hooks
  • 4 fender washers (these were used to put on the drawer handle so they could be moved along the handle)
  • A section of pipe insulation (we used this to pad the top and bottom of the board so it wasn’t rough and also so it wouldn’t scratch the floor or wall because we didn’t hang it from the wall)
  • 4 sample sized cans of bright paint:
    • red, yellow, blue, and green
  • 4 small paint brushes

At this point I was satisfied with the items we purchased, but I wanted more for this busy board. So I also bought a corded phone from Target, and a steering wheel from Amazon in yellow. We also went to Joann Fabrics and bought 4 zippers in red, yellow, green, and blue. After that we bought some miscellaneous items to hang off the eyelet hooks such as a combination lock, 2 lanyards, and a key chain picture frame. But we were still missing the board, so we headed to Home Depot. There, we picked out a piece of plywood and the workers at Home Depot were kind enough to cut it to the size we desired. We decided we wanted it to be about 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Once we had all the supplies it was time to get started.

We started to plan where we wanted all of these items. So we placed them where we thought they would best fit the board.

So with our rough draft planned out we needed to add some extra color to this project. After many ideas, we agreed on a pattern we wanted to paint and went ahead and did so.

After painting the futures busiest board, we waited for it to dry. Then we (by we in this case I mean my fiancé) drilled all the necessary holes and screwed everything into place. However, we didn’t nail the zippers into the board. We thought it would be best to staple them in. A good tip with this is to only staple at the top and bottom of the zippers. If you staple in the middle the zipper gets stuck while zipping and unzipping in those stapled spots. We also velcroed the phone and light on so it could be removed to play with separately or to have the batteries changed.

The only thing we didn’t realize and would do differently again was the light switch. We had to actually cut a chunk of the board out to have the switch sit in the board so the switch plate would lay flat. I’m sure my fiancé wishes we had never purchased that light switch for the board because it was such a pain (oops). After everything was set in place and was on the board, we were done. All that had to be done now was it needed to be tested out.

Who better to test this project then my son. So we put it to the test.

He loved it! It was worth the time we put into it because We had a good time creating it and I think my son enjoyed it just as much. He still plays with it a year later. And now that he is older he understands the zippers and has fun with those. He also enjoys the light. He likes to pretend it’s a camera and scream “CHEESE!” at it. So equal amounts of enjoyment from both sides.

I hope you enjoyed this post and find the idea of a busy board as interesting as I did. If you have heard of these before let me know and tell me what you think!

**If you decide to try this project and are not going to hang it on the wall this is not something I suggest leaving your child alone with. The board is heavy and will fall if your child pulls on it. **

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