Monday, May 11, 2015
Josh's sensory board
I've been pinning sensory boards on pinterest probably since before Josh was born. I loved the idea, and there were so many options out there; from gigantic walls in museums and sensory rooms to smaller boards made at home, and from extravagant and intricate designs to simple parts attached to a plain board. I knew I wanted to eventually make one for Josh, but kept putting it off because priorities. You know how it goes. When I finally did get around to it (more than a year later!), I chose my favourite elements from the boards I had liked and created my own with bits and pieces I had collected over time. I definitely went a bit overboard, but I am mostly happy with how it turned out, and more importantly, Josh likes it.
It took a few months to make, only because I mainly worked on it in 10-15 minute spurts when Josh was busy reading a book or playing with someone else. A lot of the attaching involved drilling or using a jig-saw, which couldn't be done while he was asleep. I'd run downstairs to switch a load of laundry and drill a few pilot holes. I'd grab the vacuum cleaner from the closet and screw in a light switch. That's basically how most projects are done!
What I ended up including on the board:
*ball tunnel (4-inch clear tubing, which was the hardest bit to find..check specialty vacuum shops for this stuff.. with caps on either end)
*texture circles (I thrifted a bag of these wood circles with different textured materials inside.. there were doubles of each so I think it may have been a matching game)
*door bell (doesn't actually work, just a button to push)
*spring door stopper
*four types of latches
*hook that is currently holding some plastic chain
*wooden doors on hinges with different types of knobs
*square stick on tiles
*textured foam sheets
*rainbow velcro (I was planning to put pictures with velcro on the back that could be taken on and off as my friend Christie did on her son's board.. Christie, I swear you blogged yours, but I can't seem to find it)
Under the doors are pictures of our pets. These are just stuck on the board with hot glue, so I will switch them out every once in a while. Most likely when Josh rips them off, like he did with the washi board on the wood beads. Kid loves pulling stuff apart! What I didn't consider when putting the doors on is that you basically have to get down to the floor to see the middle picture since the doors are right at the bottom. Live and learn!
The ball run is by far the favourite part with everyone. There's just something really fun about putting a ball through a tube over and over. Josh is really into the pictures. His fine motor skills are also getting a workout, and he's a pro at flipping light switches on and off.
I won't lie, this project was pretty spendy, even with materials on hand and thrifted parts. It was also fairly time consuming. It doesn't have to be though. It can be as simple or complicated as you make it. I've gotten some really nice feedback from friends and family who have seen the board, but I've also gotten a couple "it must be nice to have all that time on your hands" comments. That stings, but what I think those people didn't realize was that I love to make things. In my down time I like to create, whether it's knitting, crafting, building, or trying something new. It's an outlet for me, just like running or baking is for someone else. We all have our things.
Here are a few of the boards I drew inspiration from: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
Posted by Nikki at 9:38 AM