DIY Discovery Box for Baby

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I have been looking forward to sharing more baby activity-related posts since having my second baby, little Ben. Today I am sharing one of the first little things I have made for him, a DIY discovery box for baby.

DIY Discovery box for baby, the perfect sensory play activity for babies.

This activity was inspired by reading through the books Begin with a Blanket and Simple Play books by a fellow therapy mom blogger, Rachel at Can Do Kiddo. You can find out more on her books at the end of this tutorial.

DIY Discovery Box for Baby Tutorial

Items you will need:

  • A large cardboard box (I used a left over one from an Amazon Prime order)
  • Black and white baby play cards (I got mine as a bonus for purchasing the Begin with a Blanket and Simply Play books from CanDo Kiddo).
  • Colored ribbon
  • Glue dots
  • Washi Tape
  • Packing tape
  • Tissue paper


You will need to cut off the 4 cardboard flaps or lid so that you are left with an open box. I let my daughter use the pieces to draw on with markers and she really liked that.

tissue paper kicking on the DIY discovery box for baby.

Next, I flipped the box to the back side and folded a piece of tissue paper into quarters and placed it on the back of the box. Then I took another layer of tissue paper and placed it over the entire back of the box and taped down the sides with packing tape. This will give it a little more noise when you let your baby kick against it.

Ribbon for DIY Discovery box for baby.

Next a cut a few stripes of ribbon and tapped each one with a small piece of washi tape. Then I put tape over all of them to make sure they would hold if Ben decided to yank on them. **Note** I also needed to cut them a little shorter once I had Ben lay under and start playing. So you will need to probably do that after you make this box.

Once you print out your black and white baby play cards (you can make your own, or purchase the Begin with a Blanket or Simply Play books from CanDo Kiddo and get some as a bonus), tape them to the sides of the box with the glue dots. I put 4 glue dots per card just to make sure they stayed on well.

Then let the play begin!


Kicking against a surface like this gives great proprioceptive input to your baby as well as hearing the sound of the tissue paper when they kick against it. All of it is great sensory input.

For the kicking part, I put a bag of rice on the inside of the box to help hold it up. Or you could use an older sibling to help hold the box while baby kicks on it. Leaning it against the couch could be an option, just make sure you are always close by so that the box does not fall over on your baby.


Want More Ways to Play with Your Baby?

You should definitely check out the Begin with a Blanket and Simply Play books from my fellow therapy mom blogger friend Rachel at CanDo Kiddo.

In Begin With a Blanket: Creative Play for Infants, Rachel gives you 45+ creative ways you can play with your babies ages 0-6 months old. Engaging babies during this point is important for their overall development and in Begin With a Blanket you will get practical and easy ways to set up simple activities that will help keep your baby out of containers. Purchase the ebook version | Print version on Amazon.

With Simple Play: Easy Fun for Babies, Rachel gives you 40+ more ideas for playing with your older babies who can sit up, crawl, stand and cruise around. I am really looking forward to using these more as Ben gets older. Purchase the ebook version | Print version on Amazon.

For even more baby play ideas, check out my Pinterest board below.

Follow Heather | Growing Hands-On Kids's board Fine Motor Skills for Babies on Pinterest.

Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
All information on the Website is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for medical advice from a physician or your pediatrician. Please consult with a medical professional if you suspect any medical or developmental issues with your child. The information on the Websites does not replace the relationship between therapist and client in a one-on-one treatment session with an individualized treatment plan based on their professional evaluation. The information provided on the Website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied.

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All activities outlined on the Website are designed for completion with adult supervision. Please use your own judgment with your child and do not provide objects that could pose a choking hazard to young children. Never leave a child unattended during these activities. Please be aware of and follow all age recommendations on all products used in these activities. Growing Hands-On Kids is not liable for any injury when replicating any of the activities found on this blog.

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