Stenciled IKEA Memo Board | Magnetic PECS Schedule – Communication Board

Stenciled IKEA Memo Board | Magnetic PECS Schedule – Communication Board

According to all of our house guests, under the age of ten, CJ’s indoor sensory playroom would be voted the coolest room in our home – hands down. Though while it appears to many as little slice of childhood heaven – to us it plays a bigger, more important, role in many areas of development for our little guy.
As with many of our other activities, a schedule or communication board is the key to keep our little guy engaged and on track.  I have shared a bit about the PECS communication system CJ uses in the past – like when we made the end of cabinet PECS communication board in the kitchen.
While many different methods, like the iPad or laminated schedules, work just fine – I wanted some thing a little more permanent in the room since the space is used every day.  A system for CJ to use specifically for sensory playtime – something that he could relate to – that made our therapy activities a little easier for him to understand.
While we made the following project as a communication board it can easily be used in many different spaces for a variety of uses….

I began with a Spontan Magnetic Board {found at IKEA}. These are great inexpensive blank canvases that can easily be decorated or embellished so many different ways – like this framed fabric covered memo board I put together – plus they are magnetic.
To spiff it up a little I added a subtle design using the same stencil I used on the white on white stenciled playroom walls.
With the stencil taped into place, regular acrylic paint was dabbed on top using a sponge applicator.
Once the first stenciling was dry, another design was added near the bottom.
Since this board is mainly being used for CJ’s playroom therapy routine – it needed a little space for the ‘completed’ tasks. I found these bin pulls last year when I put together the chalkboard wall in my kitchen. They are actually cabinet hardware but I used them as chalk holders – I just turned them upside down. They are from the Home Depot and are less than $2 in my local store. A great price and just perfect for what I had in mind.
Using a hand drill, holes were drilled right through the Spontan board to accommodate the screws used to attach the pulls.
Butch did shorten the screws to the pulls for me by cutting them with a sawzall  – so the pull would sit flush with the board.
The squareness of these particular pulls make perfect little catchalls….

CJ’s name was added to the top with some wooden letters from the craft store. I sprayed them gold – since I have a little thing for metallics right now.  They are attached to the board with mounting putty – the same brand I used for the wooden alphabet wall in CJ’s other playroom/schoolroom. This stuff is awesome and it has held any thing I have ever used it for.
For CJ’s schedule we use the standard PECS {picture exchange communication system} cards.
I found some 2X2 square acrylic frames at a local discount store to hold the cards – they are magnetic as well.
The schedule board fits perfectly on the entry wall of the sensory playroom.
Since this particular board is still quite new – I am working on the best way to implement it into our routine.
Like with the iPad or PECS binder – more than likely the cards will be placed in a sequencing order for each days therapy routine in the room.
Then, as each task is completed, the cards will be moved from the board into the ‘all done’ holders.
Right now that scheduling method seems to work best for our little guy.
For open or free play in the room though – it gives CJ an easy to get to communication option, right at his fingertips.
I am also loving the fact that new PECS cards can easily be printed and inserted into the magnetic holders as CJ’s sensory needs change. So it is something that is up and will last for the long haul.
There are countless ways to personalize one of these versatile boards – and just about as many different ways to use them.  If you don’t particularly need a communication board – how about a memo board, inspiration board, schedule or even chore chart.
Have a fabulous week – enjoy.


  1. I love all the features you added to the board. I have three boards that I’ve been thinking about using for some kind of chore system. It was great to see how creative you got with it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great board Stephanie! I’m a pediatric PT and would love it if my kiddos could have a room like yours!

  3. That really looks amazing! The stenciled paint adds such a nice touch.

  4. I bet you are a dream family for your speech path to work with. I’m a speech-language pathologist working in the school system and often with children with ASD. I love the schedule you have created for your son – how you can change the pictures as needed, that you have a finished bin, that you can simplify it if it is overwhelming, and that you have so many activities for your son. Way to go.

  5. where did you find all these pics? I have some that were given to me, but would like more. you are so lucky to have found the perfect size frames for those. Awesome job!!

  6. Stephanie, That is definitely the coolest room I’ve ever seen. And I love the white on white stencil too.

  7. What a great way to get organized. I love the visual aspects – I’m sure its super helpful for kiddos. I might have to make one for ME (and the boys too!) = )


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