DIY Latch Board

Our toddler was fascinated with his store-bought latch board (check it out here). It had a variety of latches and locks that hooked, clicked, snapped and slid. Beyond providing countless hours of fun, it helped to develop his fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, hand-dexterity and problem-solving skills.

Playing with his store-bought latch board

While it was great for at-home play, I wanted something a bit more portable; something that would easily fit into my nappy bag and had the bonus feature of being double-sided as well. I couldn’t find anything suitable (and inexpensive) on the market, so I made one myself. So, here is my DIY Latch Board!

Materials required

  • 2x thin wooden boards (craft or hardware shop – I purchased mine from Spotlight)
  • collection of locks and latches (hardware shop)
  • packet of short screws (hardware shop)
  • packet of bulldog clips (stationery shop)
  • pipe cleaners or thin wire (craft or dollar shop)
  • variety of beads (craft or dollar shop)
  • small sheet of sandpaper (hardware shop)
  • plastic lid of baby wipes packet
  • screwdriver
  • pencil
  • glue
  • scissors

Putting it together

1. Arrange the components across both boards, to decide upon the layout. Take a photo for reference.

2. Mark out drill holes with a pencil. Secure locks and latches directly onto the board with screws and screwdriver.

3. Drill holes through the board where pipe cleaner/wire and bead features will begin and end. Thread the pipe cleaner/wire and beads through the holes and secure by twisting into place at the reverse side of the board.

4. For ‘lift-flap’ feature, place wipes packet lid on top of the sandpaper sheet. Trace outline of wipes lid onto sandpaper sheet and cut to size. Glue sandpaper onto the board and then secure wipes lid over the top with screws.

5. Once seperate individual boards are complete, place them back-to-back. Secure boards together with bulldog clips. Keep one ‘arm’ of each bulldog clip (for play), but remove the other ‘arm’ so child cannot easily take the board apart. To remove the bulldog clip arm, squeeze the arm to bring it close together until one side pops out of its holding place.

Reverse side of the latch boards
Removing the arm of the bulldog clip

This DIY Latch Board will keep your little one entertained for hours! Toss it in your nappy bag and take it with you wherever you go, for hands-on fun! 

Dee x

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