Dec 9, 2013

Sense, Learn, Play: The Hardwood Board

So here we are with our very first post of Sense, Learn, Play. This series is all about the things that we try around the house to keep Addison engaged, learning, and playing. It is too easy to plant kids in front of the TV and movies. It's not that it's not all bad. Sometimes you just have to cook dinner or take a break or sometimes it's just fun to watch a movie together. But I have found that I have been too guilty of this. I have done it way too much with Addison. She gets whiny for any reason, but often because she's actually just bored. So my problem has been finding things to keep her interested. How do I keep her engaged? How do I keep her learning? How do I keep her playing? How do I keep the boredom at bay? She is only 13 months so there is only so much that I can actually do. Playing right now consists of sitting there with her, handing things to her, her handing things to me. Not exactly the most exciting of playing time, but it's just where we are.

Anyway, we need a different way to entertain Addison (and some things that she won't put in her mouth immediately - I know it's how kids explore but some things just aren't meant to go into her mouth). We needed a way to keep her learning and playing. But with a toy she didn't have. I had seen something like this before on places like Pinterest, but I never thought much of it other than it was cool until we started noticing that Addison was really interested in the hinges on all of the baby gates. She would crawl over there and study them for the longest time. So we created our own toy for her. On that because I have no better name for it is called The Hardware Board. [So creative and original, right?]


So it's not exactly the most original name in the world. It is exactly what it sounds like. A board with a bunch of different hardware pieces on it. The board was one that we already had from making all the gates around the and the perfect little size of Addison. Then we took a trip to the hardware store to collect all the other pieces. We browsed and looked for pieces she would like. We even included her hinges in there with those two pieces of blocks that are taller than the others; those open and close. But her personal favorite is the door stopper thing - you know the springy thing that goes behind the door to keep it from being swung too far and hitting the wall. It springs and makes a funny noise. It's every 13 month old's dream come true.

After getting all the pieces we wanted, Rob got them all attached to the board and even included a handy carrying handle for all our hardware board traveling needs.



One of the best parts of this toy that makes it even more fun is that every time Addison comes back to it, she finds a new thing to play with. Sometimes she will only play with the chain and the next time she'll discover the knob. Then she'll discover the big latch. Every time it is something new.

It was simple to make. And it gives Addison a chance to explore. She is figuring out how things work. She is playing with something she has never played with before. She definitely doesn't have any toys like this one.


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