Princess Busyboard —
a cute busy board for little Maya’s first birthday
- A board cut to your desired size. That one was 40×60 cm or 16×24 inches. You can also upcycle any suitable piece of wood you have lying around. It’s good as long as it’s rounded and sanded nicely and has no splinters or whatsoever sticking out of it.
- Power drill. Along with a set of various drilling bits.
- A jigsaw. Very handy to cut out the little doors and do minor cuts you’ll need in the process.
- A clamp or two. It’s always helpful to have few clamps around when woodworking.
- Acrylic paints. They’re the simplest & safest for indoor use toy.
- Painter’s tape.
- X-Acto knife.
- Brushes, or, preferably, paint rollers. They will give more even texture.
- Sound elements. (bells, ringers, beepers)
- Texture elements. (ropes, buttons, springs)
- Motor skills elements. (doors, locks, handles, wheels, pulls, switches etc.)
- Scrap pieces of wood.
- Screws. А handful of small screws (small enough not to pierce your board all way through). And some screws of various kinds and sizes, – you’ll need to pick them basing on each element.
- Safety gloves & glasses.
- A couple of bigger anchor bolts to mount the board to the wall.
- babies got the power. What I mean is try to avoid details that are not 100% securely attached. What may seem a fine wire fixture to you, will be forcefully unbent by 1-year-old in a breath;
- think out of the box. Some details are much more fun and functional when placed on the edges of the board, enabling the usage of some extra space;
- throw-through tubes openings better be pointed towards player’s side, they prefer it that way (cause anything toddler throws will go flying right into the middle of the room, and that’s hilarious, in their opinion);
- the metal ball rollers are so much more fun when there are more than one, and placed next to each other;
- when placing rotating wheels close, make sure they don’t block each other;
- when making a looped rope, you’ll need to go knot-less – consider sewing the ends together. And vice versa, when you need ropes to stay secure, make the knots so they’d be self-tightening;
Go for massive customization. Do whatever your kid (or you!) is particularly fond of. If you’re crazy about that chevron patterns or b/w, go for it! I’m sure it’ll look cool. If your kid loves banging kitchen pans, attach an old kitchen pan somewhere – why not? Colors, animals, characters, shapes, family members portraits… Add a little personal touch to take your busy board a step further than just screwing some hardware on some wood.
Here you are totally empowered to decide what you’re making. A developmental DIY toy that can be just played and then tossed away, OR the impressive one-of-a-kind playroom gear, that you’ll be proud of for at least few years. Do it your way. Whatever you choose, it’ll be perfectly good.
Girlie girl’s Princess Busy-board – done. Check!
Next time, I will go all in and create a full-scale bad-ass girl busy-board. Think Mad Max Furiosa bad-ass. As soon as I can get my hands on a truck driving wheel.