Introduction: Toddler Accessible Door (No Damage)

Picture of Toddler Accessible Door (No Damage)

Hello everyone!

A Quick Intro:

The other day as my daughter awoke from her nap, I was making a snack when I heard her yell " DADA" and then pound on the door for the few seconds before I can get to her bedroom. She's not quite tall enough to reach the knob, but I like to keep it shut while she naps to avoid noises from waking her up. So I began to think of how to let her open the door. Obviously putting a step stool there would be 1) dangerous for an infant to use and 2) wouldn't work anyway because the door is coming toward her. Also, as I am renting this apartment, I didn't want to damage the door in fear of paying a huge fee when it was time to move out.
After a little thought, I came to this! All the materials together can cost from 3 - 15 dollars, depending on the look your going for and what you had around the house.

Materials:

3M COMMAND Brushed Nickel Hook - $9 (could be 1 if you stopped at your local dollar store for cheaper hook

Screwdriver

Optional 2 Magnets - $1 (although, like most people, I found some around the house)

Optional 2 Sided Tape

Step 1: Remove Dead Latch

Picture of Remove Dead Latch

We need to remove the "dead latch" (The part of the door that keeps it shut and allows it to lock) in order for the child to open the door without the need turning the knob. First lets unscrew the two screws holding the knob on. These should be located on the side of the door with the room. Next, unscrew the two screws holding the plate around the latch. Pull the doorknob from either side, remove it , and then pull out the latch.
Reassemble the rest of the door.

Step 2: Adding a Handle

Picture of Adding a Handle

Like I said earlier, I choose a Command hook because I didn't want to damage the door, it was strong enough to endure her tiny pulls and it fit her hand nicely. But you could use a regular hook, a dresser handle, etc.

To prepare the door for the hooks adhesive, I washed the area of the door I was using with isopropyl alcohol to ensure it would stick well.

I then held one side on the red part against the door for 30 seconds, as per instructions. I preceded to do the same with the hook against the black side and wait half an hour before using it.

And there you go! A good looking , easy to make child accessible door! Although, if your door is mount on an angle or the frame is uneven the door will continue to open. That is , unless...

Step 3: Optional: Magnets!

Now if your door wont stay closed (mine did, but I anticipated it not so I though ahead) two sided tape and two magnets will do the trick. Simply tape them where the latch came out and where it would enter and it will stay!

Note: Do not use any magnet to powerful, as it will either pull out the tape or keep the door shut.

Comments

Ken-E (author)2015-01-23

If the door does not stay shut you could also take the hinge pin out ,bend it slightly then reinstall it. It keeps the door from swinging back open ,if it does try bending it more. You can do this to any door in you house. Its great thinking of the toddler door knob, I never thought of that for my son in his toddler days.

EvanNaugler (author)Ken-E2015-01-26

That's a great idea! I've heard of people doing this with doors that slam a lot due to them being near a window, but it would also work perfectly here. Also, you wouldn't have to buy anything extra, so that's a plus.

seamster (author)2015-01-23

Great idea! Love that this is so simple, but is a perfect solution. Nicely done!

EvanNaugler (author)seamster2015-01-23

Thank you!

iamdankimball (author)2015-01-23

You could also buy spring loaded hinges. I know you said your door stayed shut, but in case it doesn't and you didn't want to use magnets this could be another option. You can set the tension of the springs so it's not hard for a toddler to open the door.

I had never thought of that, and while its a little more work than the magnets, it's definitely a more elegant solution. Thanks!

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Bio: I'm going to trade school to be a computer electronics tech, but when i'm not doing that I longboard, do some basic woodworking ... More »
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