The Orange Slate

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CREATE2015: The February Edition (A Sensory Activity Board)

February 11, 2015


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For 2015, my word of the year is CREATE. As part of this, I’m challenging myself to create or complete a project each month.

February’s project was born one morning as I was searching around for creative ways to engage Miles. I stumbled upon this homemade sensory activity board and was instantly captivated.

A sensory board is a great idea from about 6 months (whenever a baby can sit) up through the pre-school years. The toys, textures, and objects can be selected and replaced to suit a baby’s individual needs as he or she grows and learns and a big board can keep a baby captivated for hours.

I knew that I wanted to make the sensory board for my February project. I modified the basic design, grabbed some cork board tiles that I had on hand, wandered around in Hobby Lobby collecting fun items, and completed the project in just a couple of hours.

This project was definitely a success. It was easy and inexpensive to complete and Miles loved it. Also, since we are in a tiny apartment, it’s wonderful to have an activity center for Miles that doesn’t take up more floor space.


  • 4 cork tiles
  • Nails
  • Felt letters and numbers
  • Embroidery hoops and various felt pieces
  • A mirror
  • Metal teaspoons
  • A bell
  • A mini straw hat
  • A large wooden “M”
  • A rubber heat-proof kitchen mat

I nailed the four cork tiles to a convenient spot (the short wall below our kitchen bar-top). I secured the materials and objects, some with nails (like the embroidery hoops of fabric), some with command-strip tape (like the wooden letter and the mirror).

The felt letters and numbers are sticky, so I simply stuck them on.

What did I learn? I secured some of the items (like the bell) with ribbon, but the ribbon didn’t hold after a little bit of pulling by Miles. I need to re-secure movable objects like the bell with something stronger like yarn. The felt letters don’t stick to the cork-board as well as I would like, so some of them are going to need to be replaced.

When we are somewhere more permanent, I’d like to make another version of this with a wooden backdrop, which I think would work a little more effectively. But for now, I love the cork-board (bonus: the cork gives Miles an extra layer of texture to touch and explore).

I plan to extend the board with two more cork-tiles and will replace some of the objects as he gets older.

Have you ever made a sensory board for your baby or toddler? I would love to hear more ideas for fun objects to attach!

Read about my January CREATE2015 project here.

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  1. Funny, I just realized I’ve also committed to a 12 month create project. On the leatherworking forum I frequent. Interesting how life can get away from you when you think something’s pretty easy to achieve. (I’m posting them on my leatherworking blog: )

    Great job on the activity board. I was going to make one when I found an activity box at a thrift store, years ago. It has since fallen apart, but it had a serious of locks and bolts that kids really loved. More for 3 year olds than babies.

    1. I love your leatherwork! Ha, I know, right? I was just thinking about how we are almost 1/6 the way through the year and I have so many things I want to do that aren’t even started…..

      I love the way the activity board concept can be scaled for age.

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