Tandem Busy board for Car Lovers

I was extremely excited to work on this one. It was custom-made for little Ash for his first birthday. The tricky part was that he had to share it with his 3-y-o brother Luca. So, I came up with a tandem.

The theme was a no-brainer. Of course, CARS is what little boys are all about. So, I dug into the idea and had a lot of fun. The project took me about 2 weeks. You, however, can squeeze it in 2 days if you have tools (jigsaw & powerdriver) and details stocked up. See below the few pictures of making-of.

Step 1

Cut your board size, sand it, come up with the design

Step 2

Paint. I got the inspiration for colors from a random wooden rattle in a toyshop nearby. You know that feeling when right combination kinda just jumps into your eye? Paint-tape your design on the board. Get all the layers applied. Let dry thoroughly.

Step 3

Eye-ball the parts. Here you can try various options to pick the layout you’d prefer. Make sure your toddler will easily reach and operate all elements. And safety first! Adjust it to your kid’s age. Here, I chose to skip the cord and the mirror.

Step 4

Assemble. Curse. Reassemble. Curse. Reassemble. Get stuck. Get unstuck. Assemble. Step back. Enjoy.

and that’s what I used:


  • Two steering wheels for the tandem driving. (They’re actually extra wheels for kid bicycle.)
    The thermometer/hygrometer (Just for decor. It looks just like speedometer, which I liked. Besides, it’s actually good to check the temperature and humidity in the playroom every now and then.)
  • Two big loud metal rollers;
  • A honk! A real claxon making that loud trumpet sound. I found it at a local flea market, though it’s brand new. So, someone is still making those this very minute. That’s surprising.
  • A mile-counter;
  • Two spring door stoppers – toddlers favorites;
  • A red button;
  • Two switches with “ON” and “OFF” in Japanese;
  • A cooler fan; Found on a flea market. When pushed, it rotates very smoothly and quite for a while. So I reckoned it will represent the car’s engine nicely.
  • A small door with a car picture behind it;
  • Wheels;
  • Porter’s Bell. Make some noise!
  • A hook for whatever boys would like to take along. Say, their favorite guitar? Baseball hat? Christmas stocking?

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