Diy busy board ideas

The first step to creating a busy board is purchasing the sensory hardware that will go on the board. Take a stroll around The Home Depot, glance for diverse types of hinges, knobs, locks, latches. Anything that requires movement or grasp, or has a nice texture— and is baby safe— will be a grand addition to your board!

Here’s how we created this specific discovery board.

Step 3: Tape and Paint

For our board, we wanted bold colors with a unique geometric design. We started by taping the bottom quarter of the board to paint Dark Navy Blue. Once you own your tape securely placed, use your paintbrush and apply paint in the direction of the wood grain.

Allow the paint to fully dry before removing the tape.

For our second color we taped over the edge of where we just painted Dark Navy Blue and added Frost White to the relax of the board.

Again, permit your second jacket to fully dry before removing the tape.

For our third color, we went with a bold orange acrylic paint, following the same process listed above.

Step 2: Pre-drill

Now that you own the placement holes marked, use a 5/32 in. drill bit to pre-drill for application ease.

Step 1: Position and Mark Hardware

Start by placing the individual pieces of hardware on the board. While holding the hardware in put, test out their sensory features.

Diy busy board ideas

For example slide the barrel bolt, and flip the hinge. If you love the placement, and the sensory features don’t disrupt one another during movement, then mark every of your mounting holes for each piece of hardware.

Tip: There is no correct or incorrect way to select or layout your hardware. Babies discover every these shapes, colors and textures irresistable. Just own enjoyment with it.

Step 4: Add Hardware

Use a Phillips-head screw driver and the provided mounting screws to attach the knob to the busy board. Start from the back of the board, and shove installation screws through to join into the threaded cabinet hardware.

For the other hardware items, follow their individual instructions for mounting.

Each piece of hardware you purchased should come with installation instructions and mounting hardware.


Step 5: Unwrap and Enjoy!

The greatest part of this DIY busy board project was the final result!

Our test subject, Hudson, really liked it. Watching him scrunch up his fingers as he tried to shove the barrel bolt and seeing his awareness of how his hands were moving as he tried to clutch the chain was a most rewarding experience.

Developing fine motor skills is a significant task for a baby, and this project was a enjoyment way to assist in his developmental milestones!

We own more DIY projects here on The Home Depot Blog.

Follow our Simple DIY Projects board on Pinterest, too, for more DIY tutorials and ideas.

Browse The Home Depot’s Hardware Department for more ideas on items you could use for a DIY busy board.

In 2012, I was introduced to the thought of making DIY sensory boards and in the past several years I own learned so much about the sensory systems and how significant they are for our children.

A local mom was moving across the country and put out a freebie if anyone was interested in her homemade board.

I snatched it up so quick that I drove to her home that day and was adding to it within an hour.

At the time I had a 7 month ancient and she was literally starting to take things apart around our home.

Little did I know that she thrives with tactile learning and even her younger sister is now taking apart and re-assembling our radiator and other parts of our home at under 18 months old!

This awesomely crazy photo is from our first kid every those years ago with the original sensory board.

Diy busy board ideas

It’s been our longest lasting toy. However, we gave it away when we moved as well to pay it forward and own started making more.

But now for every sensory systems.

Affiliate links included for your convenience. Thank you for choosing to purchase through me to support our homeschooling budget.

What tools and supplies you need to make a DIY Sensory board for kids

Regardless of if you’re making one all-in-one sensory board or if you’re trying to make one for each of the senses, you own to own a board. You can get a pre-cut piece of wood at your local hardware store.

In fact, numerous own scrap wood that was cut incorrectly (cull lumber) for even about $0.50.

The MUST HAVE items to finish any sort of sensory board include:

  1. Self-drilling screws to cut below on your workload
  2. Cable clips for harder to attach items love chains.
  3. A basic wooden board
  4. Approximately 20 minutes of your time.

The original busy board had the following:

  1. carpet sample scraps
  2. a shove light
  3. a mirror
  4. something reflective
  5. three diverse chains made out of heavy metal, plastic, and lighter metal
  6. a chain lock
  7. carabiners
  8. a slide lock
  9. a door stop (this is a favorite since it “boings”)

We are currently in the process of making multiple types of boards.

Diy busy board ideas

Our latest is a Homemade Latch Board for tactile input and working on fine motor skills. Soon we will own more for sight, sound, and more.

We also made the latch board in order to fulfill a need of being a grand frolic toy for our 2 year ancient, but a mechanism for learning and critical thinking for our now school-aged child.


Materials for a Board
(this list contains affiliate links)

The materials list for a busy board can go on and on (and on and on). But mostly, they’re up to your imagination and what your tot might desire to frolic with. My husband and I headed below to the hardware store and let our minds wander.

Two years later and there’s nothing we would change.


What makes our board just a little diverse is that the doors open to reveal photos. We loved the thought of the boards we saw on Pinterest, but wanted the locks and doors to be functional and own purpose.

To do this, my husband used two pieces of plywood, one thick and one thin. The thick board is the top layer. In that piece, he cut out the doors using a router then attached a thin piece of plywood to the back using screws.

I added photos using double sided tape as a way to teach our kids the names and faces of extended family members.

“Go discover Grandma!” Watching those little brains work to remember which door and which face is priceless.

Oh let me tell you, the kids just love this board!

Diy busy board ideas

They (2.5 yrs and 14 months) love opening the doors and twisting the hose faucet on and off. They each can sit here for “hours” and frolic (hours in toddler terms is 10-20 minutes).

The caster wheel is a huge hit to spin as are both switches.

We attached red string to the rope so they could see the pulley looping it around and around.

On the back of the lock is the combination because we’re too ancient to remember it. Sometimes the kids love it on, sometimes they desire it on and off to twist in hand.

Unlocking the doors has proven to be the best challenge over the years.

At 2.5, my son is a pro! At 14 months, my daughter does best with unlocked doors to open. Still plenty challenging!

The random chain has been the best noise maker – we always hear lots of enjoyment music coming from it!

I love the “maze” the best.

Diy busy board ideas

After screwing on the back thinner board, my husband carved out a maze with his router and added carriage bolts. The bolts don’t come out, but the kids own enjoyment tracing the pathway. So does Mom.

Building a toddler busy board is one of the best DIY projects we’ve done and I’m so happy we own it. I can’t imagine ever getting rid of this! It has “future grandkids” written every over it.

Diy busy board ideas

The added element of being a peek-a-boo toddler busy board makes it just a little more special.

What Should you Consider Adding to a basic DIY Busy Board?

  • a plasticbuckle from something love an ancient sleeping-bag that was ruined.

    1. To do this staple one side, make certain the buckle is fastened, tug taut but not too tight, and staple the other side.
    2. I used a silky ribbon from a destroyed present bag to fasten it to the board stapled with an upholstery staple gun
    3. A battery operated Doorbellor even a light switch with a genuine light if you were to make the board into a table.
  • A battery operated Doorbellor even a light switch with a genuine light if you were to make the board into a table.
  • Some sliding tighteners from ancient backpacks and bags (that own seen better days)
    1. A travel velcro wallet (it will be stapled to the board as well.)
    2. A travel lock. I used present bag rope to staple the keys on the board too.
    3. A silky present bag rope  with a clothes pin (clothes pins are a large hit for us)
    4. old binder rings(Like the ones used for holding note cards together)
    5. Again, I stapled it below using a piece of cloth ribbon from some packaging I did not throw away
    6. A simple Sliding Door Latch
    7. A Crescent Lock to flip and spin
    8. I had a carabiner of my own that I decided not to use anymore
    9. A piece of furry cloth (think of troll hair for those 80s and 90s kids out there or the fur on a santa hat)
    1. A crank handle
    2. Shoe laces
    3. Yarn scraps
    4. Apully with a little rope.
    5. An old belt can be cut so that they can study to thread and latch it cut the buckle off and the extremely finish with holes and staple both sides to the board
    6. A Surface Mount Draw Latchlike what you would discover on a chest.
    7. Twist and lever door knobs! (that is, if you desire them getting into rooms at an early age 😉 )


    I’m beautiful certain the dawn of Pinterest was the dawn of the Toddler Busy Board.

    At least, it feels that way to me. There are so numerous amazing busy board ideas on Pinterest, love Nova’s board or Rowan’s board, and my husband and I were every for jumping on that bandwagon.

    Busy boards are just so cool!

    They’re an awesome DIY toy perfect for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, parents in their thirties… We made this board almost two years ago and it is still the most played with toy at our home by every the little ones who visit. It’s beautiful much Hansel: it’s so boiling correct now.

    Our busy board is especially unique because of the peek-a-boo learning feature. It takes it up a notch and gives it a little something special (obviously, in my humble opinion).



    Some people call it a busy board.

    Others call it a latch board or discovery board.

    Diy busy board ideas

    But whatever you call it, babies and toddlers ponder it’s amazing.

    That’s why this DIY busy board would make a grand Christmas present for your favorite baby. It’s truly an simple and enjoyment project, too. This DIY busy board is made from items correct out of the aisles of a Home Depot store, including cabinet knobs, a door knocker, a bolt lock and more.

    Just follow along with this step-by-step tutorial.