I’m so excited to share this project with you! I’ve been eyeing it for months, and I’m glad I finally got the chance to tackle it. Since this project involves a trip to Home Depot and my husband knows the store like the back of his hand, I invited him to join me in making a busy board for our son. He enjoys making toys for our son as well, and it’s extra special when we are able to make something as a family.

Besides making sure your busy board doesn’t contain small pieces, or anything that can be a chocking hazard, there is a lot of freedom to be creative when making your own, and we found that by walking up and down the isles at the hardware store inspired us. Especially if you have an older baby that can tackle different kinds of latches and locks, then you could create a board that is completely different. We’re already brainstorming what we will add to our second diy busy board.

Here are the supplies you need for making a DIY busy board.

As you get started, you’ll probably be inspired to change a few things to your liking.

To prep the board

  • Wooden slab (12 x 12.5 ft) – I used poplar wood since it is light colored and looks nice with a stain. You can ask the team at Home Depot to cut the wood for you to your measurements.
  • Milk Paint – I used about 2 table spoons and mixed in about half a cup of water for my stain. My stain was really thing, so I coated the board maybe 3-4 times.
  • Hemp Oil – I use hemp oil to seal anything related to kids toys.

To decorate the board

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Step by step directions for making your own busy board.

  1. Start by laying out the “toys” on the board where you want them to live, and take a picture.DIY Busy Board
  2. Sand the wooden board and remove excess dust. I used a damp paper towel to wipe it down.
  3. Once the board is completely dry, you can begin to stain it. I used milk paints to stain my board, and with very thin paint I used three to four coats.

    In between coats, I used a hairdryer to speed up the process.

  4. Once I was happy with the color, I began to seal it with hemp oil. I purchase my hemp oil from Real Milk Paint Co., and I follow their directions for sealing. Be patient, this takes a quite a few coats as well.

  5. Clean and disinfect all of the “toys” for your board, and once again lay them out on the board. As you can see, I changed my mind about where to place a few of the findings. I realized that I needed to make sure my son’s hands could fully grasp each of the objects without anything else getting in the way. DIY Busy Board Prep
  6. Finally, I enlisted my husband to permanently place the objects on the board. Easy / Simple DIY Busy Board

I am really happy with how the board turned out, and my son has enjoyed playing with it and exploring new ways to use his little hands. This DIY is a little time consuming, you probably won’t finish it in an hour or two, but it is well worth the work when you see your baby curious, intrigued, and happy.

Busy Board for Babies

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