‘Busy’ takes on a whole new meaning when there’s a toddler in the picture. With boundless energy, enquiring minds and fingers that want to poke, pull and prise open EVERYTHING, (including emptying the saucepan cupboard onto the kitchen floor on a daily basis!) toddlers are the ultimate junior explorers. Watch out, Indiana Jones!
Rather than navigating an overgrown jungle path to find a hidden tomb, busy boards are a wonderful substitute! Brilliant for sensory and fine motor development, busy boards are good ‘old fashioned play’ at their best.
What to use on a DIY busy board
As long as it’s something safe and not sharp, you can pretty much use anything on a toddler busy board. Here are some ideas:
- Old toys
- Push lights
- Door stops
- Baby wipes lid
- Belt fastenings
- Door bell
- Shoe laces
- House numbers
Here are our favourite 21 DIY busy boards for toddlers. Build one at home and let the adventure begin.
Open, shut them, open, shut them, have a little clap as toddlers find family photos hidden behind flaps. (via Busy Toddler)
Worksite this way
Latch onto this construction-themed busy board. With locks and light switches, it’s a worksite for bambino builders. (via Millionayres)
Pretty in pastel
Possibly the prettiest of busy boards this beauty has keys, zips, door stops, latches and peek-a-boo flaps to keep tiny hands busy. (via Something Turquoise)
Fill ‘er up!
Beep, beep, vroom, vroom and off we go! This car dashboard has everything a learner needs – rear view mirror, gears, fuel gauge, speedo and, of course, a radio for on-road tunes. (via And Next Comes L)
Fine-tune those fine motor skills with this fabric DIY board. Zips, buttons, buckles, bows and velcro – ooo yeah. (via I’m Shunk)
A recipe for fun
This DIY board is full of felty goodness. Hungry little caterpillars will go to town arranging bits of food. (via Buggy and Buddy)
Rustic and stylish busy board
A sandwich-board style busy board is perfect for pack and play fun, and this one has a textured feel for more tactile and sensory play. (via Table And Hearth)
home busy board
This busy board has the right angle for large-scale play. With a chalkboard on the back, rhythm stick on the side and mega fun up-front, it’s the corner piece of toddler civilisation. (via We Became Three)
Great things come in small packages too and this small-scale busy board is nice and simple! The baby blue suits toddlers too. (via bre pea. at Peacoats and Plaid)
Latches by letter
Add the personal touch with a backboard in the shape of an initial. Anyone handy with a jigsaw? The tool, that is. (via Dig This Design)
Parents can count on this busy board to teach littlies their numbers. Hum along with the Sesame Street song as they play. “1, 2, 3, 4 …” (via BabyBlog Russia)
Fun x 2
It’s sensory play on the double, with these fluffy, bright and noisy busy boards. Siblings are sorted! (via Fun At Home With Kids)
The electronic doorbell is a massive hit on this one and, with a handle at the top, it’s convenient to carry the
noise fun anywhere. Hello Granny’s house! (via Where The Smiles Have Been)
Home, sweet, home
Speaking of houses, this doll’s house busy board is pretty as a picture. Open wide, come inside, it’s play time. (via Materiales Biosori)
Lift-the-flap busy board
Using just a piece of cardboard, photos and baby wipes lids Mum’s Grapevine Baby Group member Ali Cascarino whipped up a cheap and easy busy board.
There’s lots of DIY inspiration at Etsy, plus some beautiful busy boards to pick up ready-made. Here are four fab ideas:
1. Customise it
With 19 different elements and the ability to customise all of the hard work is done for you by Baby Gift Busy Boards ($139.36).
2. Wheelie fun
Take the car idea up a gear with this vehicle-shaped busy board. Pick one up from The Rus Wood ($114.86)
3. Stand-alone activities
An easel is a clever way to combine busy board and chalkboard. Make one at home or explore the readymade route. Grab yours at Busyboard iBoard ($162.16)
Passport? Check! Toiletry bag? Check! Travel-ready busy board? Check! Jump over to Maxi Baby Toys ($87.84) to get yours.
5. Burst of colour
With its hand-painting background and adorable animal friends this Smart Wooden Toys ($366.58) busy board is a kaleidoscope of fun.
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