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DIY toddler activity centre

Since she was old enough to pick up a toy, there is something I’ve found baffling about my daughter; she doesn’t really like toys. She likes “stuff” not toys. If it was designed to be a toy, she is indifferent to it at best. Give her a dryer ball, a wooden spoon or an empty pop bottle and she’s entertained for hours. I’ve often considered launching a brand of toys called “Un-Toy” – toys that resemble everyday things but without any of the safety concerns (real looking, toddlerized steak knives, anybody?). But since they would then technically be toys, she probably wouldn’t like them.

Lately, my daughter has been obsessed with any kind of clasp, lock or clip she can get her hands on. So, I thought it would be fun to create a DIY activity centre with everyday items that she could both play with and learn how to use. I found this article for inspiration and decided to create a slightly less elaborate version, since we don’t own a saw or etching tool.

Toddler activity centre diy


I gathered items around the house that I could re-purpose and everything else I was able to find at the local hardware store for less than $20.

Make your own kids’ activity centre


  1. A piece of wood. I chose a small piece because I hung hers at the entrance of her room and it fits just right.
  2. A padlock and shackle with a key
  3. Two nails and some elastic bands. My daughter is obsessed with putting elastics on things so this was perfect for her.
  4. Latch bolt lock
  5. A doorbell. Ours has a little battery inside, so it makes a sound.
  6. Hook and eye latch
  7. Coat hook. I chose this because I wanted her to have somewhere to hang the key that she needed for the padlock.
  8. Velcro. I picked a picture to attach to the Velcro, but you could really do anything. The point is the Velcro.


For less than $20 and in under an hour, I was able to create a custom DIY activity centre that she loves! She’s especially fond of the padlock and using her keys. If you’re looking for a rainy day spring project, this might be the one for you!

Freelance Social Media Consultant/Producer/Production Manager and lover of media, entertainment and "the Internet". Mother to 1 human toddler and 3 guinea pigs, I live in Halifax, NS and I adore it. Follow me on Twitter: @erinberube

One Response to “DIY toddler activity centre”


Cool idea Erin! My kids would have loved something like that. 🙂


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