I want to share with you a super easy way to make sensory boards for free using laminate counter top samples from a home improvement store! Sensory boards (or sometimes called tags) are a great resource to use for young children and can be used for playing many different sensory games.
I stopped by Home Depot to search for something inexpensive I could use to make a set of sensory boards for my young preschooler. When I spied the over sized laminate counter top sample cards, I thought they would work perfectly! They are a great size, perfect shape, sturdy, yet lightweight. Also, I loved the hole at the top so I could put them all onto a large book ring for easy storage. I found a Home Depot employee and asked if they had any outdated samples hiding in some drawers. He searched and found me a stack of about 16! Yeah! (If you like this idea, please don't take handfuls of the current samples from your hardware store. Please be courteous and ask them for outdated samples.)
Here are the free samples I brought home:
I purchased white spray paint and painted them on both sides.
Then I scoured my house for anything that could be used to provide sensory input. I found felt scraps, sandpaper, scotch pads, buttons, feathers, foam, ribbon, rick rack, carpet remnants and a sponge.
*a word of caution: if you are making these boards for a young toddler, make sure you don't use anything that they could pry off the board and swallow. Glue everything really well and only use age appropriate materials*
Some of the items worked better with ModPodge and some needed to be hot glued.
I made a fun ribbon Sensory Board by gluing layers of folded ribbon.
I made my blue felt boards more textually interesting by gluing rick rack to them.
Sandpaper provides great sensory input!
This set was made using ScotchBrite pads. I love how course and rough they feel.
I wasn't super happy with the red foam boards. They provide a nice smooth and soft texture, but they need a little something to make them more interesting.......any ideas?
You really can't tell from the photo, but these are shiny boards make from aluminum foil. I love how they turned out! To make them a little more durable, I used ModPodge over the foil. I'm still not sure how well the foil will hold up with my three year old, but I really like them for now.
I made two each of every sensory board. This way we can play a few games instead of just letting my child "free play" with them. For a very young child, you can have them play a simple matching game. Or you could let them feel a sensory board and say, "Doesn't that feel rough and scratchy? Can you find something else that feels rough and scratchy?"
My daughter is a little older (3), so we are going to play a game where I will place one set of the sensory boards in box and give the other set to her. I will ask her to feel a board and then close her eyes and reach into the box to find the matching board using only her sense of touch.
However you choose to use them, sensory boards are a great resource to have on hand for your preschooler! Have fun!
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