I have a toddler. This means I am constantly making sure she is not getting into things she should leave alone. From the moment she wakes up until she falls asleep, she is on the move. Her toys do not satisfy her curiosity.

I suppose pulling all the pans out from kitchen cabinets is more exciting. She is also intrigued with the homemade cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink. She broke the childproof locks off the cabinets the third day. We have had to relocate some of them.

Last year I read about something called a “busy board,” which has different types of gadgets on it for toddlers to play with. They are made to satisfy a toddler’s desire to open and close things a fidget with things normally off limits.

Last week I decided to make one. It was quick and easy to put together. I wanted to share this idea with you in case you have a busy toddler in your life. Here are the things you’ll need:

A door chain with lock

A security door guard

1¼-inch plate roller wheel

A safety clasp

A board

I bought all the locks from Lowe’s. The Gate House brand included the screws, which was a bonus. I bought a board from Wal-Mart in Harker Heights in the craft aisle. It was less than $3 and I didn’t have to sand it. You could paint the board, but my toddler would probably peel the paint off so I opted to leave it the way it was.

First decide where you want to place the locks. Then secure them to the board. Having an electric drill will make this much easier, but you can use a screwdriver. Make sure nothing is loose before you finish.

I kept my board simple, but I’ve seen much bigger ones with many moving parts, such as a door handle and hinges to open. You can search online for further inspiration. Just make sure you are picking things a toddler can not pull little pieces off of. Also double check that your screws don’t go all the way through to the back.

My daughter is enjoying her board. I save it for her to play with when I need her to stay busy for a bit (such as when I’m cooking dinner). I don’t want her to get bored with it.

One cautionary note: Please make sure you are always present when your toddler is playing with the board. It does contain moving pieces and things can wear out over time.

I hope this project helps you entertain your toddler, even if only for 20 minutes. Until next time, happy entertaining..

Kindra Warner is a Herald correspondent. Contact her at Southernbelle83@yahoo.com.

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