What Is a Busy Board and Why Does Your Child Need One?

Busy boards are toy-like educational tools that will help your kid learn practical life skills through play and exploration while being 100% safe. You can find them in a form of a big wooden board, a handbag, or a fabric cube, among others. They can include:

  • zippers
  • belts
  • buckles
  • laces
  • doorknobs
  • switches
  • electric sockets
  • keylocks
  • handles
  • chains

Basically, busy boards contain all those tools, widgets, and bits and pieces you tell your kid not to fiddle with - and that's a good thing! Why? Because they will learn about them in a safe way and develop their skills and senses at the same time.

These are all objects you use on a daily basis. And you know how your toddler likes to copy everything you do? Even the things you wouldn’t necessarily like them to do. Things like - trying to turn on an oven or a stove.

That's why a busy board can serve multiple purposes. It will make the oven switch less interesting to play with when no one's watching, but it will also teach your kid to use it properly once they're old enough.

What's the Difference Between Busy Boards and Sensory Boards? 

No real difference here - they are the same thing. They nurture the development of children's motor and sensory skills. By touching and experimenting with its components, kids strengthen their hand-eye coordination and work on their finger muscles. They also get a feel for different materials, such as soft, sturdy, or elastic.

Baby's finger pointing at a Montessori-insipred Busy Board.

What Age Is a Busy Board For?

One year old and up. Depending on the board's features, some are even suitable for younger babies, but kids up to age four can thoroughly enjoy and learn from them. It's solely up to the child's preferences. Ideally, the sooner your kid starts with one, the better. The most important thing is to provide them with the appropriate stimulation for their age.

Want to know the best part?

As you may have heard, it is often thought that this is one of the longest-lasting toys in a child's life. The reason being busy boards can be adjusted, their components added or removed, and made as complex as your little one needs them to be. You can get one now and use, customize, and grow with it for a couple of years, at least.

How to Choose a Busy Board for Babies

The most important thing is that the board you choose is safe and not overly complicated. A 10-month-old doesn't need to know how to lock the door, switch on the light, or tie their shoes. At this age, you should provide them with a busy board that stimulates their sensory skills.

Some parents introduce busy boards to their babies as early as 6 months old. The benefits for your child's development depend on what they find most interesting to play with. Some babies like pulling ropes, some loud banging noises, and some click-clack sounds. Maybe your little one likes the cause-and-effect toys?


Remember that a board has to be challenging enough but not discouraging. If you ever wonder which one you should get, feel free to ask a source you trust. There are a lot of child psychologists, preschools, or even certified retailers who can help you with this.

Why Go for a Montessori Busy Board?

Some toys are made according to specific learning methods. Such is the case with the Montessori Busy Board. The idea behind it is that a child should learn by exploring at their own pace. That way, they will boost self-confidence and independence. 


Through play, children learn how to solve problems and improve their ability to pay attention and be patient. They learn how to tie their shoes, buckle their belts, zip their jackets, and so much more. It's a tool that prepares your little one to become an "I can do it all by myself" preschooler.


On top of that, it's designed to be played with anywhere your kid wants to. It can be in the living room, at kindergarten, on a playdate, or on a road trip. It's just the right size and weight to carry and is built from safe materials that are easy to maintain. Moving a 40-pound wooden busy board isn’t exactly fun.

Close up of a colorful Montessori Busy Board.

DIY Busy Board

You can always make one yourself. Some parents get really creative and spend days working on them. Ultimately, you know best what your little one wants and needs. If this is the case with you, here are some tips on how to build your own busy board.

Guide to Making Your Own Busy Board

Step 1:

Take a few hours to plan in detail what features the board will have. It's crucial that your kid finds them exciting and engaging. Where can you buy all the components? Is it a local market or store? Compare the prices online. That leads to the board size as well. How much can you fit on a wooden board you have spare or the one you buy locally?

Step 2:

You will also need adequate tools. Hammers, nails, screwdrivers, glue guns, scissors, and knitting needles, to name a few. All these tools are dangerous, so you should do it without your child present so as not to endanger them. You will also need to wait while the glue dries up, as it can be intrusive on your child's skin. 

Step 3:

Once all the pieces are connected to the board, the glue has dried up, and spare parts and debris have been cleaned up, your very own homemade busy board is ready for use. It can take a lot of time, but it's definitely worth it!

If you are entirely sure that you can find all the tools, materials, and the time you need for your custom-made busy board, it will definitely result in hours of fun for both you and your kid. As long as you are certain that everything about it is 100% safe (including the paint and the glue) for your child. 

On the other hand, if you’d rather leave this to the professionals who already have it all figured out, you can always order a high-quality busy board to be delivered to your doorstep.

One thing is for sure - getting a busy board one way or another is an excellent idea. It is fun, helps boost your kid’s both physical and mental development from 6 months to 4 years of age, and let’s not forget - it looks really great.

Whether you are getting one for your own kid or you are thinking about buying it as a gift, all you need to do is make sure it’s safe and that it hits that sweet spot between being challenging but not too demanding for the child that gets to enjoy it.

Not sure how to do that or how to pick the right one? We can help. Email us at info@montessorigeneration.com, and we can work it out together. And if you already have a busy board, but are looking for something equally educational and beneficial, check out our collection of Montessori toys for toddlers.

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