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How to make a toddler sensory board with Sugru

Kids adore toys. But have you noticed how they seem to have more fun playing with all kinds of random things around the home? Saucepans become drum kits, shoes are telephones, and tennis rackets turn into a collection of Fender Stratocasters. Kids just love exploring the world around them imaginatively. This lovely project takes a bunch of regular objects and with a little help from Sugru, transforms into them into a hands-on activity board that’ll keep little ones occupied for hours. What’s not to like?

Sugru’s wide range of adhesive properties makes it great for a project like this that combines lots of different materials. You can bond wood to metal, metal to plastic, plastic to ceramic, ceramic to stone. Plus, its mouldable and rubbery properties make it great to soften sharp edges and corners for kids.

Little people alert!  We advise that you keep toddlers out of the way while you build this project. All good things come to those who wait.

Things you'll need

1 x wooden tray
1 x old telephone
1 x old door handle & lock
1 x boot brush
1 x wooden peg (painted with characters)
2 x wooden blocks
1 x bath plug
Any old light switches
A penny
An old bike light
A giant wooden clothes peg
A toy tape measure (customised with googly eyes)
A magnet (like the ones in our Magnet Kit)
An 8-Pack of Family-Safe Sugru

You can use objects of your own choice, have fun finding things they'll be curious about!

Arrange

Once you’ve gathered your objects, arrange them where you’d like them positioned on the tray. It’s a good idea to give each item enough space.

Open your Sugru!

We recommend using Family-Safe Sugru for this project. It may take a little longer to cure, but it's perfect for projects involving children.

Warning: Sugru Family-Safe | Skin-Friendly Formula is suitable for children aged 8+ to use without supervision. Children under the age of 8 should not use this product without the supervision of an adult. Warning: it is not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts—choking hazard.

Apply Sugru to objects

Here we've used the Sugru cone technique. Roll ¼ of a pack of Sugru into a ball and press onto the object. Pinch the Sugru into a cone shape. Ensure the base of the cone is attached to the object with the pointy bit facing away. We used 4 cones to attach phone securely.

Attach objects to the tray

Press the objects firmly onto the tray to ensure a decent bond.

Plug it – attach odd-shaped objects

Wrap the plug in clingfilm and roll ¾ of a pack of Sugru into a sausage. Leave the remaining ¼ for the chain stopper. Clingfilm prevents the Sugru from sticking to the plug - or any other object that you'd like to make a mould for.

Press & mould it

Press the Sugru sausage around the base of the plug to create a mould that will hold it. Once cured, you'll effectively have a plughole that they'll love plugging in and out of.

Cover cracks & soften sharp edges

Our old phone had a hole and crack in the plastic housing. To make it safe for little hands, we filled and covered it in a layer of protective Sugru. It’s brilliant for replacing missing parts and making hard things soft, like baby-proofing sharp corners. You can also add texture to your Sugru by rolling a pen cap over it to make it more tactile.

Make a measure monster

We've used a regular tape measure here but, for safety reasons, we strongly recommend you use a toy tape measure. Stick it to a giant wooden clothes peg, then attach the construction onto the tray. We’ve also mounted a wooden block to for the tape to click on to, and fixed some googly eyes onto the tape measure to add some character! 

Use magnets for removable components

We’ve attached an old penny to the board and a magnet to an old bike light. But you can use anything made from metal. We also put a thin layer of yellow Sugru over the bike light to soften the LED light for little eyes. Now it flashes a nice gentle light :)

Warning: always be extra careful with magnets around children.

Leave to cure

We advise that you give all the Sugru-ed components 24 hours to cure securely. Once the Sugru has cured, remove the clingfilm from any of the fixes and... now you're ready to start playing!

Hours of fun!

Warning: Sugru is not food safe and should not be used in contact with food or drinking water. If someone swallows it, seek medical advice and show the pack. More info at https://sugru.com/safety