Simple Sensory Board & Busy Board DIY

18 June, 2024

As children develop, the urge to explore becomes irresistible and they’re compelled to touch and open everything! Embrace this phase and make your child their very own sensory board.


What is a sensory board or a busy board?

A sensory board or busy board is a collection of items grouped together on a board for children to explore safely in one place. When you make a DIY busy board, you can tailor it to include whatever you choose, perhaps some of the knobs, latches, handles, zippers and buttons your child currently likes to explore.


What are the benefits of sensory boards and busy boards for toddlers?

While it may look like children are just playing – and honestly it may drive you crazy when they repeatedly open the cupboards or press all the buttons on your TV remote – they’re actually developing their cognitive skills; thinking and learning about the world around them and exploring how things work. A sensory board encourages children’s natural curiosity and invites them to investigate and develop their problem-solving skills as they see how to turn a handle to open a door or undo a buckle. A homemade DIY sensory board gives children the opportunity to develop their fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and bilateral skills; the ability to use both sides of their body in a coordinated way.


How to make a busy board or sensory board at home:

A DIY sensory board is a simple project you can make at home.


  • Board such as plywood or medium-density fibreboard (MDF)
  • Non-toxic paint(optional)
  • Sander/sandpaper
  • Drill/hammer
  • Nails/screws
  • Sensory items (door handles, zippers, buckles, ropes, hinges, locks, laces, ribbon, etc) Check out your local hardware or craft shop or ask your family and friends if they have suitable items they no longer need to add to your busy board DIY



  • Wash all sensory board items with soap and water
  • Sand sharp edges and corners of the sensory items and the board
  • Paint the board or leave it raw
  • Arrange the sensory items on the board and fix them securely in place using screws or nails
  • Dust the sensory board for any wooden splinters and give to your little one to play!


Sensory Play at Edge Early Learning

Our educators recognise the importance of sensory learning and incorporate opportunities for sensory play in our programs.  You can read more on our blog about the benefits of sensory play and everyday items for sensory play at home.

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