Wednesday, 6 May 2015

DIY sensory board

I think this is actually the make I'm proudest of even though it is incredibly simple and I can't believe I didn't think of it before. It is entirely made of things I had lying around the house and took less than 45 minutes to make from start to finish (I know because I managed to do it during one of Iz's "shorter" lunchtime naps...).  

I first got the idea from this blog and the end result is brilliant - Iz loves it, D loves it and I love how quiet they are when they play with it!! If you have anyone be vaguely "baby age" in your house I thoroughly recommend making one of these!

So what do you need?

A "base" - I was initially going to use a flat piece of cardboard but then I got my next "My Little Box" and realised it was the perfect size and shape - and the fact it folds up on itself without squashing the contents makes it perfect for storing too :)

Sensory "bits and pieces" - this is what I used:
- felt
- bubble wrap
- fabric scraps
- large straws
- big pompom
- corrugated cardboard
- loops of thick ribbon
- ties of thin ribbon
- coloured paper
- piece of emergency blanket (left over from Iz's sensory basket)
- the ziploc portion of some plastic bags

My aim was a variety of colours, textures and materials. Some of them also had the added element of sound. So it was a proper sensory experience - sight, touch, hearing :)

Four quick steps to make your own:

1. Assemble all the bits you want to include and lay them out on the base to get an idea of positioning
2. Glue in place with a hot glue gun
3. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours
4. Then remove any "wispy" glue bits (I clearly need to work on my glue gun technique!) and give everything a good tug to make sure it's stuck on firmly

And then play!

First exploring
Even D wanted to join in

Must reeeeeeeach it!

Ooooo straws

Loved the fluffy pompom

Iz loved it and probably played with it every day and before she could sit up it was great tummy time practice. We also used it to tempt her into crawling when she was first starting to move :) it was a great "go to" toy when I was trying to get lunch ready or tidy up afterwards as it would always keep her busy for at least 5 minutes.

Just checking there's nothing on the underside...

Note - before each time I gave it to her I always pulled at the various bits and pieces and checked they were all still securely in place. I would definitely advise doing that as things will invariably come loose over time.

Close up inspection

So how did it stand up to baby battering?

Amazingly well actually. The red dotted paper cup was an early casualty on day 1 (I should've realised it was just asking to be ripped off!) but everything else lasted nearly 2 months until the pompom came loose and by this point I felt it was probably past its prime. But 2 months of entertainment for the price of the glue in my glue gun - brilliant!


Disclaimer: as with any activity involving your baby, use your own judgement and common sense. I always closely supervise any sensory play and always inspect items for wear/tear carefully before each playing session. Always make sure you are confident with the safety of whatever your baby is playing with.

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