Sometimes parents think that two-year-olds have overgrown the fidget board stage. Yet, this is rarely the case.
The beauty of the fidget board toy is that it addresses the level of babies through all the early years. With slight tweaks, it can grow up with the kid, or serve to the needs of your particular audience.
Bring in the more elaborate parts for big kids. It nurtures a love of engineering & raises self-esteem. For the best mix, combine intellectual tasks with physical, like pulling and rotating.
My friend ordered this awesome Pro fidget board for her 3-year-old nephew. He’s a very serious little chunk, who adores “fixing” things around him. With a green light from his auntie for real-deal parts, I’ve developed this action-packed Bumblebee design. See below notes from the making process and final result.
How to prepare a nice catchy base for a fidget board?
This pattern is cool, neutral, super easy to DIY, and will work great in a playroom interior. I’ve sanded the board thoroughly, measured the center, then put painters tape and covered with two coats of paint. Acrylics do great. See more tips about the process in How to paint busy board Step-by-step post.
When the base was dry and ready, I started on the layout. I’ve used some very cool upcycled parts here. The big black handle in the bottom right corner is the real motorcycle pull starter. The fan is a recycled computer cooler. It rotates nicely and shows mechanics & inertia.
Which parts can add learning to play in a really subtle way?
For the little fixer’s tools & extra materials, I’ve installed the tin box that reads “VERY IMPORTANT GENUINE CRAFTER. ONE MAJOR MASTERPIECE”. Nothing less.
But this was barely the start. A three-year-old is ready for more. So I’ve added the number clicker a.k.a. pax counter. It is an amazing fun element to learn counting literally hands-on. Perfect for pretend play. We use it with my son to learn numbers in different languages – works a-ma-zing.
Pitch black upcycled switch from Japan gives a nice effort to flip, and it also carries a number of embossed words in both English and Japanese.
To make this busy board even more challenging, I’ve added the number code lock. This is the disc kind – reminded me of the ones they have in the old Disney cartoons and such. It has the code with instructions on the back, for the adults and kids alike. It’s unbeatable for roleplay fun.
The hook can seem boring to adults. For the kids, it’s new and fascinating. First, they use it as a toy. Then, learn to hang things. Afterward, they are always so happy to store their little belongings on Their Own hooks. Who knew a small thing like this can teach your toddler organization?
I love the optical effect that this red wooden cutout disc makes. When rotated, some parts of it blur and becomes see-through. So cool!
Assembling a fidget board: how to do it without snaps and slips?
Finally, I was happy with the layout. Assembly time! You can see more detailed tutorials in our Busyboardipedia, so I’ll just jell it up briefly in this post.
Beta-testing: how to play with the fidget board?
Before I’ve sent this Bumblebee to the designated owner, another 15-month-old beta-tester didn’t miss his chance. He’s not strong enough for big parts yet, but you can definitely see he is getting there.
This is why I love making fidget boards. They look and feel like a toy, yet give an amazing boost to the toddler’s skills. These boosts vary from training fine motor skills in tots to doing numbers, letters, physics & engineering with big kiddos. All that, in our favorite way – through play.
Need more ideas for open-ended activity with fidget board? Check out our post: 7 Foolproof Ways to Play with Busy Board.
This lovely Bumblebee fidget board is on the way to his little owner and very happy auntie. Couldn’t be more excited about it.