I know you’re wondering what in the world a geoboard is right? Just look at the pictures above. It’s a kid’s toy, a way to teach about shapes and letters, and a great little stress buster all rolled into one. Quite simply, it’s a wooden board with pegs you can string rubber bands around. And it’s simple cheap fun (and your kids will be learning without even realizing it – bonus!)
Interested in giving it a go? I made these boards for under $5 in materials and in about 15 minutes. And the real test? I set them up on a table outside in our cul-de-sac and found that they were immediately played with by all the kids on our block (ranging in age from 2 to 12.)
Ready? Let’s build one!
Step 1 – Gather Your Materials
You’ll need to gather a few supplies. First off – the boards. I got three of these little wooden boards for $2.99 each at Michaels. Of course – if you’re a couponer you’d get them for even cheaper. In case you’re curious – they measure 8.5″ by 11″.
Other supplies needed are spray paint (optional), rubber bands, push pins, graph paper, a hammer, and tape.
Step 2 – Spray Paint Your Boards (Optional)
I find that the more brightly colored things are, the more kids are attracted to them. So I opted to paint my boards with spray paint I had on hand from various other projects. This step is definitely optional because your geoboard will be functional whether it’s pretty or not. But if you’ve got the inclination – I’d say go for it!
Step 2 – Layout Your Pegs
I wasn’t sure what to call the push pins we’re going to use on the board, so let’s just call them pegs. First thing you need to do is decide how many pegs you want on your board. So grab a sheet of graph paper and mark out your spacing (every 3 squares or every 5 squares for example.) The smaller the spaces between pegs, the more elaborate the shapes and letters you can create…but also the more work you’ll have to do hammering in that many push pins.
You can kind of see my tiny dots (please ignore the large dots on the very far right…false start there.)
Step 3 – Hammer in Your Pegs Half-Way
This step is simple enough – grab a push pin and the hammer and put one at each dot you’ve marked for yourself. But only push or hammer it in half-way! I learned this the hard way…if you don’t – getting the paper out from underneath the pin is a big giant pain in the hindquarters. Not fun. In fact, I discovered you don’t even need to leave it there…just poke a hole that you can see once you lift the paper off.
Step 4 – Get Rid of the Graph Paper
Whether you’ve poked holes and not left the pins in or left the pins in place (not fully hammered down), next step is to ditch the graph paper. Its job is done! And seeing bits of white paper underneath the pins is distracting and not very good looking.
Step 5 – Hammer the Push Pins Completely Down
This step is the most fun because you’re nearly done. Simply hammer the push pins all the way to the surface of the board if you left them in place or put a push pin in the hole you created and hammer it down. Easy peasy. Although I will caution you that if you get too enthusiastic with this step, the push pins break rather easily…we ended up with many broken ones because we tried to use some old pins that had been kicking around for years. Turns out they were kinda fragile.
Step 6 – Play!
That’s it! You’re ready to have fun now. My older girls like making letters and leaving me messages and/or creating shapes and my little one likes just stretching the rubber bands whichever crazy way strikes her.
What do you think? Would your kids like a geoboard? If you give this a try – let me know how it goes!