I just love DIY projects so when I saw various different latch boards on the web after I found some old latches in the garage I just had to do one myself. The kids has absolutely loved it since I made it a year ago and it keeps them preoccupied for MINUTES… yeah that’s a lot for busy kiddo’s!
Not only does it build fine motor skills but it also teaches them immense endurance and will power.
I’m not always sure if will power and endurance in the same sentence with a toddler is a good or a bad thing but there sure are benefits especially for kids with ADD/ADHD. All kids need to explore and learn and this board sure is a fun way to do it. I have to add a disclosure though…
When your kids start opening windows and latches they have to be watched at all times to make sure they don’t make a victorious escape to the great unknown outside.
Seeing as I am a stay at home mom I have no problem with the kids starting to open windows and doors as I never have them out of sight anyway (call me paranoid), so I actually encourage them to do so. (See evil plan to get them to do stuff for me, bwahahaaa)
It was lots of fun and really easy to create, all you have to do is:
- Cut and sand a wooden board approximately 16×13 inches (40x33cm) Not too much, wood is still great for sensory stimulation.
- Attach latches, hooks, hinges, handles, locks and whatever you can find with screws. Make sure you sand all screws to get rid of any sharp edges caused by stripping… I actually hurt myself with one of these while making it.
- I attached two thin chains next to the locks to attach the small keys to so they won’t get lost or swallowed. The chains need to be heavy duty so they won’t be able to rip it off… the ones for bath tubs work perfectly.
- I also cut small little shutters for the hinges to give the kids something to open and close… you will need very short screws for this.
- The light switch has a fitting that has to stay there if you want the switch to make a clicking sound when you press it so you need a chisel to make a hole for it to rest in.
- The LED light I got from a dollar store for next to nothing and it had double sided tape attached which was sufficient to hold it tight so they won’t be able to rip it off. You do have to push it down and twist it to get to the batteries though so its a good idea to glue it shut… LED’s don’t use a lot of battery power so it should last long and you can just bust it open and glue it shut again when necessary.
All of this cost me $21 (R250) per board so it can be quite pricey… salvage whatever you can find in the garage if you want to keep the cost low.