AS parents all over the country brace themselves for months in self-isolation with kids who get bored easily, one mum has come up with a creative solution.
Taylor Cowin, 23, a stay-at-home mum from Edinburgh, decided to create an incredible playboard in the shape of a bus for her son Josh, 19 months.
Instead of forking out for an expensive pre-made board, Taylor started collecting some of her son’s favourite items along with some tactile objects like switches and handles.
She then attached them to a bit of wood so they’d all be at eye-level with the tot.
In total, she spent just £20 on the impressive display, which was a fraction of the £60 ones she’d seen in shops.
Taylor told money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk: "I first came up with the idea a few weeks before Christmas when I was trying to think of what I could get my little boy for Christmas.
"He had so many toys and I really wanted him to have something a bit more special and unique so I started to look at busy boards online.
“They were all great but prices started at around £60 and even went into the hundreds, and they were all quite small compared to what I was looking for!
"I didn’t really expect to make anything brilliant but I just thought 'why not give it a go myself and see how it goes!’
"I just started to gather little things from the cupboards like switches, door stoppers, door handles and so on that I already had and could potentially use. Then I added my little boy's xylophone because he loves it.
"I also thought about how he loves cars and buses and knew it would be a good idea to use a car or bus shape.
"Then I just searched for lots of random things on ebay to see what came up and if anything could be used.
"I used spare wood that my mum and dad already had in their garden.
"I only really had to buy the paint, lights and the tie, zip and button boards. It cost me about £20 for those things.”
Once Taylor decided on the look of the busy board, she got started with the DIY process.
"I decided on the bus shape and drew it onto the wood. My dad then cut the shape because I really don’t trust myself with power tools!” She explains.
"Then I painted it red and I did two or three coats of paint. It took quite a while to dry as it was in my mum and dad's shed and the weather was cold but once it was dry we took it into the house and started to attach the lights and everything else onto it.
"I used cable ties to attach everything onto it so that there wouldn’t be the possibility of any nails falling off. I felt that this would be a safer option for my little boy.
He had so many toys and I really wanted him to have something a bit more special and unique so I started to look at busy boards online.
"It took about a week or so to be completely finished and we then attached it to my little boy's bedroom wall. It’s not perfect but he loves it!”
Taylor says she is over the moon with how the busy board turned out, and says it’s a lot less complicated to make than it looks.
She adds: "I am very pleased with how it turned out because I really wasn’t expecting it to actually be any good!
"I think it is the perfect thing to have at home because it really does keep my little boy occupied which is especially important for times like this when you do need to spend more time at home.”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “All of us are faced with the prospect of spending months at home due to the spread of coronavirus, and Netflix will go only go so far when it comes to entertaining us.
“Parents running out of ideas to entertain their kids will love Taylor’s ingenious busy board – and best of all, I can’t believe it cost just £20!
“It’s a fantastic idea to search your cupboards for what you already have when doing DIY at home – it will save you spending lots on new supplies, and is better for the environment too.”
We shared how a DIY-savvy mum transformed her conservatory into epic junglesoft play for kids for under £500.
And mums share photos of their messy playrooms after Kim Kardashian showed off her kids’ immaculately organised room.
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