DIY Toddler Busy Board

C turned 1 back in April and one of his presents was a DIY Toddler Busy Board.  As you can see, this post is just a teeny tiny bit overdue.  That’s just how I like to roll.

I found this pin on Pintest that I pinned (let’s see how many times I can use the word “pin” in a sentence) 2 years ago, knowing that I wanted to do it for a future child.  C already has a ton of toys due to being the second child and a spoiled rotten grandchild, so we decided to keep his birthday low key.  This board was the only thing he got from us.

Once his birthday got closer I started to do some mad research on Busy Boards, looking at ideas for things to put on it and ways to paint it.  Then I started searching the Dollar Tree, Walmart and thrift shops for the items.  We ended up with a decent spread, and plenty of room to add more if we find some stuff.

Unfortunately I can’t tell you anything at all about how Hubby built the box itself.  I do know that it has sides and a back, so it’s like a giant box.  That way he could screw everything in but we wouldn’t have to worry about C playing with all of the nails and stuff poking out the other side.  Plus the door knob I had would actually turn and the side part moves, which I think is pretty diy-toddler-busy-board-backIf you have any questions let me know and I can relay them to him and he can answer them!

So this is everything he attached on there:

a wheel from an office chairdiy-toddler-busy-board-wheela switch from a lamp (he just cut off the cord on either end)diy-toddler-busy-board-switch

a door knobdiy-toddler-busy-board-door-knob

an old school telephone corddiy-toddler-busy-board-cord

a door that opens and closes with a sliding lock on itdiy-toddler-busy-board-lock-door diy-toddler-busy-board-door-open

a light switchdiy-toddler-busy-board-light-switch

and door

After I painted it he also glued on a combination lockdiy-toddler-busy-board-lock

and a mirrordiy-toddler-busy-board-mirror

After he did his part (which took entirely too long.  I had to nag him for weeks to just do it!) I took over.  Although I found tons of ideas, the way Millionayres painted hers was by far my favorite.  I had a bunch of leftover red and white paint from previous projects so I used those colors instead.  Painting it this way was very time consuming and the lines turned out a bit wonky, but overall I love it.

First I used painters tape all around the front, about an inch from the edge.  diy-toddler-busy-board-3I painted all of the sides and that first inch red.  Then I taped around all of the “things” since I’m like the worst painter in the

I peeled off the edge.  Not too bad…for me!diy-toddler-busy-board-4Then I taped the diagonal lines.  I spaced them out so they were the same width as the tape just to make it easy in my head.  I painted all of the empty spaces (and quite a bit of the painters tape 😉 ) white.  diy-toddler-busy-board-5I peeled off that tape and then covered up all of the white lines.  I just reused the same tape since it was still sticky and about the right length. diy-toddler-busy-board

I painted the remaining space red, and voila it was finished!


Just in time for C’s birthday, too.  If I remember correctly we had a day to spare.  Perfect.  And he loves it.  It doesn’t keep his attention for long, but really what does??  It’s funny because at first the door stoppers and telephone cord were his favorites, but now that he’s a bit older he loves flipping the light switch and opening and closing the door.  When Hubby built the door he left an empty space in there, so C loves to shove things inside and shut it, then open it to retrieve the object.  Over and over.  He hasn’t shown any interest in any of the other items yet, but I know he will.  All in all, a success!



Go Baby Go!

C is 10 months old and has discovered how much fun walking is.  Or at least how much fun it is to hold my and Hubby’s hands and walk all over the house while we hunch over, killing our backs.  And just the other day he found floor mats.  He’s obsessed with the one right in front of the front door.  He loves to walk to it, walk around it, walk off of it, walk on it, walk around it, walk off of it, walk on it.  Repeat.  10 billion times.  He also enjoys walking on and off of Jack’s dog bed, back and forth between wood laminate and the tile in the laundry room and kitchen, and the laminate versus carpet upstairs.  Basically any different kind of feeling.

So I decided to take advantage of C’s newfound appreciation for textures and make him a sensory runway!  I’d seen this idea awhile back on Pinterest (where else?!) and kept it in the back of my mind in case an opportunity ever presented itself.  Most of the ideas that I’ve seen are either just random things thrown on the floor or random stuff glued onto cardboard that babies can crawl over.  I wanted something a bit more organized than just tossing a blanket on the floor–mainly because after doing it once I’ll never remember to do it again.  Or, more likely, I’ll just never bother to pick the blanket up off of the floor.  And of course the recycling bin just went out this morning, which means that I have zero cardboard at the moment.  I have a box arriving from Amazon in a few days, but I want to make this NOW!  C’s taking a decent nap, J’s at a playdate and I’m motivated.  This is not a time to procrastinate.

And then I got a brilliant idea.  I could use a foam puzzle!  It’ll be easy to glue everything on, there’s no need to cut out squares like I would have to with cardboard, it shouldn’t slide around the floor too much and it’s super easy to connect the pieces together!  But once again I want to do this NOW.  Hmmm….J has one of those foam puzzles….foam-puzzle

I picked it up at a yard sale a few years back and not only are most of the frame pieces missing, but it’s also ridiculously faded.  So much so that it’s actually pretty hard to put together now.  foam-puzzle

We used to use it all of the time when we used play dough or did sensory boxes or anything messy in our old house, but haven’t found much of a use for it at the new place.

I figured since she’s not here at the moment she won’t mind if I steal it and put stuff on it for C.  I’m already preparing myself for the insane meltdown when she finds out what I’ve done.  I’m going to seriously regret not procrastinating this project until I found something else, I just know it.  At the very least I should’ve bought a replacement for her first, and then used the old one.  But that would hinder doing it NOW!  I will not let a 4 year old rule my life…I will not let a 4 year old rule my life…I will not let a 4 year old rule my life…  Okay, I’m ready.

I collected a bunch of random crap I have strewn about the house with different textures.  Then I just hot glued a material onto a piece.  I’m interested to see how some of this stuff stays on the pieces…like the Angel Hair.  I have a feeling that’s going to create a giant disaster.

So here are my pieces!

sensory-runway-contact-paperContact paper, sticky side up.sensory-runway-sandpaperSand paper.sensory-runway-tulleSparkly tulle.sensory-runway-foilFoil.  I have no idea how well this one is going to work, but at least it’s shiny so if all else fails there’s that!sensory-runway-faux-furRandom faux fur fabric.sensory-runway-cellophaneA cellophane bag.sensory-runway-feltFelt.sensory-runway-towelWashcloth.sensory-runway-paper-towelPaper towel (I was stretching a bit by this point, haha!)sensory-runway-tissue-paperTissue paper.sensory-runway-bubble-wrapBubble wrap.sensory-runway-angel-hair“Angel Hair”.  I have absolutely no idea what this stuff actually is.  I picked it up at a random store that was going out of business awhile back.  It feels really cool–really soft!  It’s definitely going to make a mess though once he starts pulling on it.  Which I’m sure will be immediately.sensory-runway-foamFoam pieces from the computer we bought recently.sensory-runway-styrofoamStyrofoam.sensory-runway-shower-curtain-linerPlastic shower curtain liner.sensory-runway-foam-puzzleAnd a blank one.  I figured the foam puzzle itself has a different texture.sensory-runwayTa-da!  The finished product!

I’m super happy that I didn’t procrastinate (at least until J discovers what I’ve done…).  This project took me about 30 minutes from start to finish and I’m actually excited for C to wake up from his nap so we can try it out!  I think he’s going to love it!

THE NEXT DAY:  Well, I was right about one thing at least:  the disaster that is Angel Hair.  During his one jaunt across the runway he got some stuck to his foot.  Then when J played with it a bunch more just fell off.  I’m still finding strings of it all over the house.  And yet I haven’t actually pulled it all off of the foam puzzle piece yet.  Don’t ask me why.

I was completely off base about my other hypotheses though.  After picking J up from her playdate I made sure to prepare her that I used her puzzle, hoping to avoid the meltdown.  She could’ve cared less (although that may be because I told her that I made “something for C and you!”).  And I told her that we’d buy her a new one next time we were at the store.  Which I’m hoping she’ll forget about, but I sincerely doubt.  And then after C finally woke up from his nap I fed him and then brought him right over to it…where he walked across it exactly one time.  I tried several times yesterday and again today and he still doesn’t have any interest in it at all whatsoever.  Sigh.

There’s always tomorrow…

TWO WEEKS LATER:  it was not a waste of time.  Hallelujah!  Every day I’ll throw three or four of the pieces on the floor and he gets a blast walking on and off of them a billion times.  His favorite one is definitely the black furry one.  Now if only he would figure out how to walk on his own so I don’t have to hold his hands as he goes back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.