Exploring Sticky With Velcro And Household Objects
BY JEN KOSSOWAN, MAMA.PAPA.BUBBA.
Feb 15, 2017
Babies and toddlers are so easy to please when it comes to play things, aren’t they? Whether it’s an empty box, or some old tissue paper, or coat zippers and shirt buttons, they find joy in the simplest, everyday things. At the moment, my little one is completely obsessed with the velcro straps on his big sister’s shoes, which is exactly what inspired this simple DIY velcro board for babies and toddlers. Not only does it allow little ones to explore sticky, but the different textures and velcro-sounds make it a lovely sensory experience — plus there’s loads of opportunity for fine motor skill development and hand muscle strengthening too!
Here’s what you’ll need to create a DIY velcro board of your own:
- adhesive velcro dots and strips
- a tray, pan, cutting board, or other base
- small objects and toys from around the house
Before we get started, let’s talk just a little bit more about our supplies, shall we? First off, the adhesive velcro; this stuff is so handy for crafts and DIY projects, and best of all, it’s available at many dollar stores. The packets you’ll purchase will include both the hook and loop sides of the velcro, but for this particular project, you’ll only need the soft loop side of the dots and the scratchy hook side of the strips. Be sure to stash the stuff you won’t be using away safely — it’s bound to come in handy at some point in the future.
Now let's talk about the sticky board base. This activity can be done two ways: on the floor as pictured above, or vertically with the velcro board mounted on the wall. If you’re going to try the vertical version, you’ll want something light and easy to mount on the wall with painter’s tape or removable mounting strips — a piece of sturdy cardboard will do the trick! If you’re doing the floor version, you’ll want something with a little weight to it, like a metal baking sheet or a wooden chopping board. As for the small objects and toys, you’ll want several soft objects that stick to the hook side of the velcro as is, and several small hard objects that you don’t mind adhering the velcro dots to. Craft drawers and the recycling bins are a great place to look for these sorts of things.
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Alright, now let's get started. First off, you’ll want to create your sticky board. This is as easy as peeling the paper backing off of the adhesive velcro strips and pressing them firmly down onto the base of your choice. Trim the strips down as needed in order to cover the majority of the surface with velcro.
Next, attach the velcro dots onto the hard-surfaced objects you’ve collected from around the house. You’ll want to press these on really firmly in order to ensure they stay put while playing. Once that’s done, your sticky station is ready to be explored.
How you introduce this activity to your baby or toddler is completely up to you, but since velcro can be quite interesting all on its own, you may want to introduce just the sticky board first. Babies and toddlers are naturally very curious, so it’s likely that your little one will come over the moment he or she lays eyes on the board, but if not, gently running your fingers over the velcro is sure to peak their interest.
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When you think they're ready, go ahead and add the small objects and toys into the play. You can do so by simply setting them out next to the board and letting your baby take the lead, or by adding a couple of objects to the velcro base and seeing what they do next.
My little one is fascinated by the sound and sensation caused by pulling items off of the board, so I follow his lead and stick things on for him to grab off. When it comes to activities like this one, there’s really no right way to play, so don’t be afraid to let your baby or toddler truly lead the play.
Whichever path your little one’s exploration takes, it’s sure to give them a great fine motor skill workout and be a sensory-filled process. As always, direct supervision is key with DIY toys. Most importantly though, enjoy watching your munchkin explore and play!
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