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As parents, we are always looking for new ways to occupy our active children, stimulating their learning processes and letting them have a little fun.
Sure, we can buy them plenty of toys (and we do!), but sometimes they just seem to want to play with things around the house. Which isn’t a bad thing, considering how much they can learn from playing with latches, locks, cords, magnets and anything that has a button to push.
So, how can we harness all that energy and help our children’s development? One parent has created something cool that does just that — at a budget price.
This is “Dad’s way of keeping ’em busy,” says Imgur user teachesofpeachez, of the busy board he created for his son. Since he uploaded the image to Imgur, it’s been viewed a few million times.
What a great idea! I have a cousin who made a similar board for his son, and he absolutely loves it.
Not only is it a great way to make your kids think about how things work, it helps them learn about cause and effect and constructive play. Plus, you may already have many of these items around the house.
Talk about recycling!
Want to make one yourself? Here are some of the items he used plus a few more:
These screw-on casters can let your kid spin those wheels as much as he likes. It’s great tactile fun, and some children get obsessed with just watching them move!
This sliding bolt for a door lets kids practice some useful skills for the future! Let them learn how to latch gates without any danger that they’ll leave the yard!
Sliding Bolt Door/Gate Latch, $7.00
What kid doesn’t love the sounds produced by a ringing bell? This might get annoying for you after a bit, but your child will get multiple benefits, including the development of fine motor skills.
Desk Bell, $4.57
Here’s another type of latch that can help your child develop those important motor skills. These can be so rewarding for little hands.
Sliding Door Latch, $6.18
As you probably know, many door stoppers have springs that allow for great noises as well as fun motion in many different directions. Your kid will love flicking this around.
Door Stopper, $4.91
You’ve seen this type of door guard in hotel rooms, but they’re usually too high up for a child to reach. It’s easy enough to attach one to your busy board so your kid can play with it, too.
Swing Bar Door Guard, $5.98
These stick-on mirrors are easy to install, since they come with an adhesive. They are convex, so things will appear farther away than they actually are — which can be great fun for little ones.
Bubble Mirror, $3.22
This hook and eye is another helpful activity that assists in helping kids develop fine motor skills.
Hook and Eye Hardware, $5.88
The type of latch pictured here requires kids to turn it with their little fingers in order to close it. Talk about hours of fun!
Latch Post Hasp, $8.27
Add this hinge to your child’s board to incorporate a flip-action motion that will occupy her for quite some time.
Flip Action Steel Door Lock, $2.90
My house from childhood had one of these chain door locks, and I can remember spending hours just moving it back and forth. I had to stand on a chair to do so, but it was so worth it. Take that dangerous part out, and add this to your board for safer play!
Door Lock with Chain, $6.97
Carabiners are cool. As this dad did, you can hook keychains and coils into them for additional excitement. Add some pipe cleaners that can be woven around them!
Caribeaners (Multi-pack), $6.99
Eye hooks can be useful for string and lots of other fun things! Simply screw them in and attach laces, toys or whatever your kid loves.
Eye Hooks (pack of 25), $4.10
Like the mirrors, these have adhesives on the back, and can simply be pushed when your child wants to turn them on and off.
It may take a bit for your child to figure this one out, but a toilet paper holder has that great spring action to enjoy.
Toilet Paper Holder, $2.87
These can be used on a refrigerator, of course, but adding a magnetic element to your child’s busy board can help them learn about size, shape, color and meaning.
Magnetic Alphabet Letters, $11.19
Add this inexpensive toy pack for extra fun. Help your kid learn the days of the week while you’re at it.
Pill Pack, $6.96
Looking for other ideas? This dad isn’t the only one who has created an amazing play board for his kids. Check out this one from Where The Smiles Have Been, labeled with the items used. We love the additions of the light switch and timer!
And this one from Next Comes L is perfect for the tiny car-lover in your life!
If you lift up that board, there’s actually a map underneath that can teach your kid where you live. This one requires a bit more DIYing — the gear shift knob, for example, used to belong to an elliptical machine.
But how cool is this for toddlers that want to move?
This last one, from Millionayres, shows you can make the busy board even more pleasing by painting it in bold colors.
Inside one of those doors is a cute message “written” with thumb tacks. How clever!
These are such great ideas, using household items you may already have or can get cheaply. Are you inspired to make something cool for your kid yet?