Latch Boards

These latch boards have been an unexpected hit in our household. I was amazed at how much they captured my toddler’s interest and held his attention for so long.

We now have one in the car as a permanent fixture there to keep him occupied on short car trips.

In the post below we will show you how to make your own latch board at home. It is a quick and easy project with the only hold up being the painting. But this is also where you can personalize the most.

DIY Latch Boards

How to Make Your DIY Latch Board


  • Two random scraps of wood – ours are about 6” x 1′, but any size will do as long as you can fit enough latches on there.
  • Paint
  • Clear coat
  • Masking Tape
  • Polyurethane
  • Random latches or other hardware you may want to fix to your board.

Step 1 – Prepare your Wood

Sand your wood until the surface is clean and smooth. Make sure you dust it well so that the surface is ready for paint.

DIY Latch Boards Step 1

Step 2  – Paint the Board

You can now paint any way you like! If you are looking to create a clean pattern like in the photos below you can simply use some masking tape around the edged so that you do not need to be overly careful when applying the pain. Paint.

DIY Latch Boards Step 2

Step 3 – Seal with Clear Cote

If you would like your latch board to stand up to toddler use over the long term then applying some clear coat will help give a protective seal over the paint. This should minimize wear and tear.

DIY Latch Boards for Kids

Step 4 – Fix your Latches

Now it is time to attach your latches and any other hardware you have laying around. The more variation you can include the more interesting the board will be to your toddler. You can easily pick up a ten pack of various latches.

Homemade Latch Boards

Step 5 – Enjoy!

You now have a fun little DIY toddler distractor that you can pull out at any time.

As mentioned, we have used this a lot on car trips but it is also a fun way to get some interactive play going that will help your kids develop their motor skills and spacial awareness.

Final Word

Give this a try and you may be amazed how well it holds the attention of a curious toddler who loves to fiddle with things.

A good variation of latches is key to extending that playtime, and mixing up that dexterity that will develop.