Busy board, a creative activity for parents and children

What is a busyboard?

A busy board is a toy made from everyday objects that tend to inspire a child's curiosity and desire to explore. Playing is an important part of a child's development. They are able to acquire motor skills by touching and exploring different objects. It keeps the child engaged, educated and happy while giving parents 5 minutes of calm.

What are the benefits of a busyboard?

  • Busy boards give children the opportunity to explore every day household items in a fun, educational way.
  • Enhances a wide range of development skills including counting and number recognition skills, fine motor and hand to eye coordination and teaching children how to problem solve.
  • Encourages imaginary play and provides children with a wide range of opportunities to develop these skills.
  • Provides a sensory experience with pleasant textures & noises
  • It will also help them figure out and work things out on their own and at their own pace. 
  • Learning though exploration is natural to children, which makes sense when you consider the skills they need in order to build an understanding of spaces, objects, people, and interactions. 
  • Has a huge impact on the physical development of your baby’s brain. Learning about the world through sensory play helps develop pathways between brain neurons which can help your child understand and complete complex tasks as he grows older. 
  • Promotes early childhood development like cognitive growth, language development, fine and gross motor skills, social interactions, and problem-solving skills. 
  • It enhances and strengthens memory through practice and repeated actions. 
  • Sensory play can be quite calming for your kids, handling something interesting to your baby would help quiet him down.
  •  Proven to calm overstimulated, frustrated, and anxious babies. They become noticeably calmer and sleepier. 
  • Sensory play helps to relieve discomfort, agitation, anxiety, and restlessness. 
  • Helps your child verbalize different feelings when they touch or see a familiar item. 

How you can make your own. 

An average-sized busy board can carry 15 to 20 items. A lot of the items used to make the board can be found in your own home and can also be store-bought. A good way to know what to put on your board is to see what items around the house attracts your toddler. 

What you need:

  • A piece of medium density fiberboard, around ¾ inches. Feel free to paint it or finish the board any way you like, just make sure all edges are smooth and splinter free, and paint is lead and toxin free.
  • Place all items on the board and take a photo to remember their placement.
  • Depending on the items you picked you will need to drill some holes. 
  • You can either screw or glue on the items. 

 Safety steps

  • Wash all pieces with a mild soap before assembling
  • Make sure all small parts are firmly secured, and are not choking hazards
  • Be mindful of pieces that might pinch little fingers 

Examples of some items used:

  • Magnets. 
  • Locks. Can add keys to give a little bit of difficulty. 
  • Textured items. Help them discover different textures. 
  • Gears. Help your toddler understand how they work and have fun rotating them so see how they interact with each other. 
  • Tubing. Your toddler can have fun putting something in one side and coming out the other. 
  • Nuts and Bolts. Have fun tightening and loosening them up. 
  • Zippers. Babies love the sound and feel of them. A great way to encourage sensory exploration. 
  • Switches. It will keep them entertained by flipping it on and off repeatedly. 
  • Whiteboard. They can draw or write anything to express their creative thoughts. 
  • Knobs and Doors. Learn how to close and open a door. 
  • Musical instruments. 
  • Shoelaces. This is a great way to practice tying shoes. 
  • Others: musical instruments, remote, buttons, wheels, mirror, springs, knocker, latch, bell, horn, door chain, rope, number, touch light...