My youngest son is already very technically-minded (i.e. he’s obsessed with buttons), so I wanted to make him something he could fidget with to his heart’s content. There’s a TON of great busy boards on Pinterest that gave me some inspiration, but it ultimately just depended on what items I was able to find at our local Habitat Restore and Lowe’s. All in, I was able to get all the little gadgets for about $20. I already had all the wood to build the actual board, which made things easier. In fact, the legs and smooth face panel were leftovers from my other son’s built-in bookshelf project.
Here’s the basic configuration:
Determining the placement for each element was a very freeform process. I just laid the board flat and moved things around until everything fit pretty neatly. I tried to think about play height…which elements would be easy for my son to manipulate close to the ground vs. which ones would work better at chest- or eye-level.
Once I had everything in place, I took a picture for reference and started attaching elements. I started with the things that I could easily fasten, like the latches & the caster. Then I installed everything that required a hole drilled out…shoe strings, light switch, door handle, faucet knob & guitar cable. Everything else could only be attached with Gorilla Glue, so I attached those last with clamps and cross beams:
Once everything was dry, I sanded down the edges and cut tapered legs to attach to the base.
So far, the boy seems to be a fan 🙂