Exploratory Board

Tags: exploratory play, home made toys

Section: Exploratory Objects

Make an exploratory board for children to experiment and develop their fine manipulative skills (inspired by Melissa and Doug's latches toy!)

What you need:

  1. piece of wood / chipboard - remember to sand any rough edges (expertly done for us by Grandad Grumps!)
  2. a variety of different objects to explore such as:
    • a light switch
    • simple sliding lock
    • door knocker
    • gate latch
    • chain latch
    • touch light

This exploratory board doesn't need to cost a lot to make; we bought our piece of chipboard for around £3 from The Range and only used half of it for this activity. We also got the push light and sliding lock for around a £1 each from The Range. Ebay is great for reasonably priced door knockers and locks.

We used a fairly large piece of chipboard as it means there was plenty of room for both girls to explore this together (although they both LOVED turning the light on and off which caused some problems!!). A larger piece of wood also gives you the option to add new things at a later date to keep it interesting.

How can this activity help your child's development?

As children coordinate their movements to work the locks they will be developing both fine manipulative skills and hand-eye coordination. It can help children learn about cause and effect as they realise that their actions are making something happen. It allows children to safely explore and show interest in how things work and develop pride in their own achievements.

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