An adult and child play together on a Resonance Board.The Resonance Board is a very inexpensive piece of equipment that can be used alone and with a variety of other pieces of equipment such as the Little Room, Support Bench and Essef Board. The Resonance Board is the perfect place to let a child explore a box full of different objects or as a place to have an adult-child interaction with the adult either offering objects or imitating what the child does with the object.  Below are Dr. Nielsen's design specifications.

The use of cabinet quality birch plywood which is very dense enhances the tactile feedback that it provides when things are moved on its surface.  The slight bowing of the top from the weight of the child and/or adult allows materials to roll back towards the center. That way the child is more likely to come in contact with the item and re-engage in play.  

The air gap provided by the lip of the board insulates and lifts the learner off the cold floor. Another plus is that children and adults will not get as tired while sitting on it.

When introducing the child to the board, the adult should sit on the board with the child in her lap. Begin to make small sounds on the board (gradually becoming louder), so the child becomes aware of it. Slowly move the child down onto the board. When you have made sure that the child is secure and at home on the board, start putting objects under the hands, around the body, under the feet, and under the head of the child.

Observe the reactions of the child to determine how far to go the first time. Is the child is able to lie alone on the board, and how long does he play on it? Don't worry if the child moves off the Resonance Board.  Allow some time and see if he will return. Some children may choose not to sit on the board, but rather use it as a space to experiement with various objects. 

The child will develop spatial awareness by learning a little about the limited “room” which the Resonance Board represents.This will motivate of the child to use the space outside of the Resonance Board and begin to move from one place to another.

The board will provide tactile feedback whenever the child moves or causes an object placed on it to move. This encourages the child to initiate more independent movements.

To learn about using it with the Little Room review Reaching and Spatial Orientation.

Using a Resonance Board for an Adult-Child Interactions

Description: Brief example of an adult-child interaction on a Resonance Board.

An adult and child at play on a Resonance Board.
Downloads: Transcript (txt) Audio (mp3)

Using a Resonance Board for Independent Play

Description: Clips of Kamryn during independent play on a Resonance Board. [audio description only, no audio of the resonance board.]

Kamryn at independent play on a Resonance Board.
Downloads: Transcript (txt) Audio (mp3)

Directions for Making a Resonance Board

Resonance Boards are available for purchase from, but can be handmade as well.

resonance board directions

Download Word document with directions to make a Resonance Board.

Download PDF document with directions to make a Resonance Board.


Make Your Own Folding Resonance Board

Thank you to Sally Cameron from APSEA Preschool Services BVI (Nova Scotia) for sharing!

folding resonance board instructions


ResonanceBoard collage