If ever you want to feel super handy and proud of yourself for using a power tool, make your kiddos a “Fine-Motor Latch Board”. I’ve seen these all over Pintrest forever and after seeing both of my boys struggle to do things like use zippers, hold crayons, open containers, complete puzzles, and pick up small objects (all fine-motor skills) I decided it was time to visit the hardware store.
A board- They had these blank boards with beveled edges ready made. So, of course that’s what I got, but you could use any splinter – free scrap wood you can find. I will say my board was not quite thick enough for all of the screws I used and I had to pull them out a little so that they didn’t poke through the back of the board. Learn from my mistake and get a board that’s thick enough.
Assorted locks, latches, and hindges- I mostly let the boys pick these out, but I was honestly shocked by how expensive some of these were. You could also get knobs or anything else that suits your fancy. I would do a pintrest search for “fine motor board” for more ideas.
A power screw driver- I tried to avoid the mess that is our garage by using a manual screw driver, but quickly admitted defeat and set to rummaging through the chaos to find the power tool.
How to do it:
If you have older kiddos they could watch, but with my grabby little munchkins I figured it would be best to do this project on my own.
1. Lay out your locks, latches, and whatnot the way you want them on the board.
2. Screw them down.
3. Get a hand massage (the project may be simple, but it takes a toll on your hand muscles)
4. Show your child(ren) how each feature works and help them try on their own. This is entertaining for a wide range of kids and wildly personalizable.
Warning: This board is surprisingly heavy and with two boys who love to throw things I am constantly vigilant for objects that could destroy a TV, toe, or nose. So, I recommend that this be used only when an adult can supervise
-paint the board
-have kids put stickers on it
-drill holes through it to create a lacing practice section
-Attach an actual lock and key
-Use scrap cabinet doors
Like I said there are tons and tons of ideas for this on pintrest, but I kept it simple. Like this blog, my fine motor board is a testament to my belief that I’d rather it be simple and done than over the top and half finished.
If you decide to make one of these of love to see how it turns out!