I think the majority of us can agree that we didn’t think we would ever live to see our country’s current situation with the coronavirus outbreak. It all is a bit overwhelming to say the least. Now is the time to do our part to help stop the spread, and support one another (at a distance) during this crazy time. For the parents who are at home with their young children for the next few weeks, I have a project that will keep your family’s hands and minds busy while we weather the storm. While this sensory board project can be altered to fit any age, it is designed for children ages 1-4.
Before I had my son, I was a teacher at a Reggio Emilia preschool. Reggio Emilia is an approach where the child takes an active role in their learning by collaborating with others and exploring their environment and surroundings. We would plan activities based on what our class wanted to learn about, not what we wanted our class to learn.
My son is almost 3 and loves trying to figure out how things work. Whether that’s turning lights on and off or locking doors he isn’t supposed to. I wanted to create something for him that was different from anything he had. I got together with an old colleague of mine and we created a busy/sensory board. If you are doing this at home during self isolation, you will have to improvise, but it can be done!
I made this board a few weeks before the outbreak, so I was able to visit hardware stores and garage sales. If you are in self isolation, and want to do this project with your children the best way to start is to clean your house. As you are cleaning, ask your children what they want to put on their board and teach them about their senses. While you are cleaning, keep all 5 senses in mind:
What To Look For While Cleaning Your House
- Junk Drawer: locks, old shoe strings, light switches, wrist watches that are broken, rubber bands
- Old Toys: legos, coloring pages, farm animals, blocks, dolls, cars, plastic food
- The Garage: paint brushes, golf balls, old pieces of carpet, anything textured, sand toys, new plumbing hoses, old vacuum pieces
- Hall Closet: old towels, duct tape, Christmas wrapping paper, ribbon, colorful gift bags
- School/Work Desk: old school supplies
Not only did you just finish spring cleaning early, but you now have all the pieces you need to create a busy/sensory board!
Start Assembling Your Board
If your children are under 3 and still putting objects in their mouths, don’t add any small parts to your board. If you don’t have a heavy duty piece of plywood, you can use whatever you have in the house; even if it’s a cardboard Amazon box.
Take the items that you collected and have your children help you place them on the board in the order that they want. You can use glue, a nail/screw gun, or a stapler to get the job done.
Let The Fun Begin
Once you are finished, let your children explore the board on their own! The best part about this is that it doesn’t have to be played with everyday. So take it away for a few days, and bring it back out to find new ways or items to add to it!
We will all get through this! Until we do, stay healthy and wash your hands!