An Astronaut board is a spinning board used as part of the ‘Astronout theraphy’ created by Sheila Frick, OTR/L, a trainer and workshop instructor with Vital Links, is widely known in the SPD community for co-developing Astronaut Training together with another pediatric occupational therapist, Mary Kawar.
That set of procedures was among the first to formalize the integration of sound therapy with vestibular-visual integrative therapies
(https:// vitallinks.com/course/astronaut-training/) The Astronaut board is made out of wood; it can be purchased as part of the program
or be made with a bit of effort at home.
I have made it for my son to compliment the auditory listening training adding the vestibular input that was required at that stage as we couldn’t get it in the UK.
Let’s start with the materials required:
– 2 separate pieces of 3 cm thick wooden blocks
The bottom block is an octagon shape with a diameter of 40cm (or a radius of 20cm) The top is a rectangle of 50cm on 80cm
– 30 cm diameter Round Lazy Susan Turntable Bearing and 8 matching screws (4 for the bottom and 4 for the top)
– Sand paper
– 20 Nails
– Nice cloth with printed theme
– Stuffing Polyester Fiber For Toys
Steps: 1. Lets start with the top board which will be the one your child will sit on so you would want it make it comfortable
and make sure to polish it slightly with sandpaper to make is nice and smooth.
2. Stick a generous layer of stuffing polyester on top and let it dry, cut a matching cloth (I would recommend a theme your child likes such as Disney character or similar) in our case it would be 60cm on 90cm.
3. Stretch the cloth on the top and turn over the wooden block.
4. Attach the cloth to the wood by nails.
5. Lazy susan is a piece of steel with fixing holes in both upper and lower plates it spins freely and therefore we will use it next to connect the 2 pieces of wood. Mark the center of the octagon piece and fix the lazy suzan to it is right in the middle, you will need to drill an “access hole” on the octagon so that you could screw the top board (rectangle) in through the bottom board.
6. Once the octagon is attached to the baring its time to connect the top board with the remaining 4 screws.
7. Turn the top piece of wood on the soft side, use the access hole to fix the top board using 4 screws placed at even distance away from the center.
Tips: -Add some grease to the lazy Susan bearing to avoid squeaking noise – usually the screws come together with the bearing but its worth checking before
– The pieces of wood were purchased at a local DIY center and cut according to my measurements.
I would welcome questions and comments ,let me know if you find it helpful and what challenges did you come across in the process.