Being a teacher before having babies has made me really aware of kids' sensory needs. Sensory play is really important for babies and kids. Touch and feel is how as infants and toddlers learn about the world. As the babies grew and became more and more interested in the world around them, I decided I wanted to make them sensory boards.
Naturally, I turned to Pinterest. You can see my Sensory Board Pins here:
After browsing a lot of ideas on Pinterest, I started collecting things to put on their sensory boards. I found a lot of things at the dollar store, Michael’s craft store, and the Home Depot. I tried to find items with a variety of shapes and textures. Some of my favorite finds were carpet squares (Home Depot), corrugated cardboard letters (Michaels), combs (Dollar Tree), and different wooden cutouts (Michaels). Other items I found include:
- wooden letters
- small mirror
- textured ribbon
- textured fabric
- textured paint samples
- flooring samples
- countertop samples
- embroidery supplies
- wooden frames
- miscellaneous household items - Command hooks, rubber coasters, foam padding,
- slate ornament
- crocheted doily
- fabric flowers
My Pinterest research led me to choose hardboard for the backing of the sensory boards. Hardboard is what the clipboards you had in school were made of. I found large sheets of hardboard at Home Depot and had them cut it down for me. You can also find it in smaller sizes at art stores like Blick.
I arranged the different items until I liked how they looked and hot glued everything down. I would actually use a stronger, more permanent glue next time like Gorilla Glue or Super Glue next time. The babies were able to pull off one or two things that were hot glued.
To give the babies easy access to their sensory boards, I used Velcro Command Strips to attach them to the bottom of the walls in their play room. They were the perfect height when they could sit up and Command Strips make it easy to adjust the locations as needed.
The playroom has been rearranged a few times and now I have the boards stored to take out and play with from time to time. My dad is working on a more complex busy board now that they are toddlers and I hope to share that as soon as it's done!
This was really a pretty simple project and very entertaining for the babies. As with anything, make sure your babies are well supervised when using their sensory boards!