In continuing my series on learning ideas for your Baby Bees… here’s a fun one that your Big Butterflies will be able to enjoy interacting with, as well! And we’ve found that Sis really loves to show lil Bro how stuff works on his sensory board, so it’s great for all ages, especially if you have kids with Sensory Processing Disorder!
There are LOTS of ideas about how to make a sensory board – Pinterest is overflowing with them! (Check out a few of my pins on the topic here.)
I think for me, the most important points were size, usability, and cost. I didn’t want to spend a ton of time and money making something that was going to take a huge amount of space and not be usable for very long. So I looked at all of my pins and found what I liked best about each of the boards. And then began to gather my materials.
I was pleased to be able to find most of what I was looking for around the house, and the rest I found at Dollar Tree! I was really pleased to be able to make such a fun board for literally about $5 out of pocket. I found the foam board, patterned duct tape to seal the edges, a two-texture sponge, a car wash rag, and some decorative stones at Dollar Tree. Cody found a few items in his shop for me, and the rest I gathered from inside the house.
One of the items I added from Dollar Tree – a star push light – didn’t end up working. I want to get a touch light from Walmart to add to the board sometime soon. So here’s what I ended up adding:
I used two wipes packet tops, and inside one I glued (used hot glue for everything) some of that foamy shelf liner (soft and bumpy), and inside the other I glued a piece from a metallic bubble wrap envelope (crinkly and shiny). I cut off part of the car wash rag – it’s super soft, and has little “fingers” to run your fingers through. It’s Becca’s favorite aspect of the board.
Cody had a gate hinge in the shop that he wasn’t using, so I glued the left side to the board, and put a velcro dot behind the right side, so it will actually hinge open, and makes a cool sound while doing so. A scrap block of wood, also from the shop, makes a great knocking sound, and is hard and smooth. Another item from his shop that the kids love is the gate lock. It’s super fun to lift it up and down and make it rattle.
The decorative stones I got from Dollar Tree are great for introducing patterns – both in color and texture, and have been a great way for Becca to learn the difference in see-through and opaque. A piece of a plastic sink drain mat is fun to rub your fingers across, because not only does it have little bumps all over it, it also has little square openings that allow you to feel the foam board backdrop as well.
The sponge is fun to play with – I just cut it in half, and was able to allow the kids to play with both sides – smooth and scratchy. And of course, since it’s a sponge, it’s fun to punch, push, and press. I threw on some feathers for good measure, and then two pouches: one that zips, and one that is velcro. The velcro pouch has ten large pretend “gold doubloons” left over from Becca’s first birthday party ages ago, and the zipper pouch is super fun because I took a piece of cording Cody had in the shop, and hot glued it inside with a ring of keys attached! So Gray can practice opening the zipper, taking the keys out, play, and then put them back in and zip it up!
I seriously spent about $5 on this board. Then found a good height in our family room and nailed it to the wall. Super simple, basic… nothing fancy or expensive. Nothing too time consuming to make. Yes, it took a little planning and forethought, but I can see this board being something they play with for the next couple of years – even though Becca is older, it’s fabulous for her need for proprioceptive input (SPD)… and when they are done, if it’s still in good shape, I can pass it along to a friend with young kids who can put it to more good use. If not, I throw it in the trash and know that I got more than my money’s worth!
Have you created a sensory board for your Baby Bees/SPD Adventurers? I’d love to see your ideas and add them to my pin board for others! Please share links in the comments!!