As your baby reaches preschool age, it’s time to introduce them to activities that are a bit sophisticated and challenging. This is where the best busy boards come into play. They are designed to stimulate children’s brains and improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
These boards often entail block organization, pattern and shape identification, puzzle-solving, and more. Some also offer additional features such as sounds and lights to engage children.
Read on as we list the best busy boards for toddlers and tell you how to choose the right one. The busy boards listed here are also portable, lightweight, and safe and engaging enough for older children and adults
11 Best Busy Boards
1. Best For Motor Skills: VTech Latches and Doors Busy Board
With switches, latches, and keys, the busy board from VTech helps enhance your child’s motor skills. It includes an inbuilt voice function that teaches numbers from one to five and introduces the family and pets. Children can open the doors to hear sound effects and melodies that keep them occupied. This motor skill development unit is easy to maintain, and you can clean it with a slightly damp cloth. The child gets a chance to learn various things with the help of a number song, an Alphabet song, and a song about the house. Toddlers aged from 12 to 36 months can play with this busy board. Here’s a personal review video to help you get a better understanding of the product.
- Convenient carry handle
- Builds motor skills
- Made of plastic material
- Ready-to-insert batteries included
- May not be bilingual
- Key may be slightly flimsy
2. Best For Critical Skills: Guolely Montessori Busy Board
The 25-in-1 Guolely Montessori board includes various informative and playful activities that help children learn through natural play. It features activities like jigsaw puzzles, alphabet, clocks, calendar learning games, and more. These safe activities promote silent play and help improve concentration, motor skills, finger dexterity, and cognitive skill. This toy is meant for one to six-year-old toddlers, including toddlers with autism.
- Promotes color and shape identification
- Made of soft felted wool and ABS
- Securely fixed pieces
- Lightweight and travel-friendly
- Parental supervision is required due to small parts
- Cannot be machine-washed
3. Best For Travelling: DeMoca Montessori Busy Board
Suitable for children up to three years, the busy board includes ten preschool activities that help enhance their motor skills. Made of wood, this kit includes colorful wooden pieces such as a teaching kit for shoe tying and zipper snaps. It can help keep your child busy during long car or airplane journeys, and it is lightweight. Toddlers can spin the gear wheels, solve the labyrinth or even play with the switch button. This busy board can also be used for autistic children as a sensory exploration toy or for Alzheimer’s patients as a therapy toy. Click here to check out a detailed personal review of this product.
- Enhances hand-eye coordination
- Meets European safety standards
- In-built round shape handle for easy grip
- Free of harsh chemicals
- Latch part may be slightly flimsy
- Shoelaces may be attached with staples
4. Best For Creativity: TT. Remax Montessori Busy Board
The TT. Remax Montessori busy board toy uses eco-friendly paint that helps prevent bacterial breeding and forms a mirror surface. You can clean this board with a cloth wipe. It has been tested to be child-safe under different USA consumer acts. The board helps enhance the fine motor abilities of your children and helps develop memory, reasoning, creativity, and care. It weighs 2.55lb, so you can carry it around easily.
- Develops hand-eye coordination
- Made of nylon, wood, plastic, and steel
- Enhances imagination
- Stimulates thinking ability
- May be slightly heavy
- Some pieces may have sharp edges
5. Best For Essential Skills: BrainUp Toys Busy Board
Lightweight and travel-friendly, the BrainUp Toy busy board helps enhance your child’s essential abilities and skills. It features nine activities, including the abacus, lock and key, gear wheels, noisemaker, push-button, numbers from zero to nine, etc. Toddlers between the ages of one to three can enjoy playing with this busy board, and its high-quality material is child-safe.
- Promotes sensory skills
- Builds fine motor skills
- Enhances memory
- Safe and non-toxic paint
- Burr-free edges
- Made of eco-friendly material
- May contain tiny parts that may be choking hazards
- Key may get detached easily
6. Best To Develop Sensation: KLT Busy Board
The KLT busy board is made from soft wool felt, making it flexible and lightweight. It helps the children learn how to get dressed with fun activities, including a zipper, cloth buttons, and a snap belt. The tools are colorful and eye-catching. There are puzzles with different difficulty levels to keep the toddler engaged while enhancing their basic skills. You can carry it along during long journeys. Children aged three years and above can play with this busy board to develop perception and sensation.
- Features an adjustable shoulder belt
- Increases parent-child interaction
- Stimulates sensory skills
- Double-sided design
- Made of soft felted wood
- May be slightly thinner than expected
- Snaps may be misaligned in some cases
7. Best For Cognitive Skills: Loyalse Montessori Busy Board
The 20-in-1 busy board includes numbers, puzzles, wheels, telephone, lock and key, etc. This busy board promotes self-dressing skills for toddlers and also helps enhance problem-solving and cognitive skills. Children aged three years and above can play with this busy board. It is made from non-toxic basswood, water paint, and metal hinges that do not rust easily.
- Improves dexterity
- Promotes hands-on learning
- Encourages independent thinking
- Handmade by professionals
- May contain tiny parts
- May not be scratch-resistant
8. Best For Hand-Eye Coordination: Laxdacee Toddler Busy Board
Made from high-quality felt wool, the Laxdacee toddler board comes with an adjustable strap that is lightweight and portable. This Montessori toy includes numerous games to draw the baby’s attention. It’s an ideal preschool pastime to train toddlers to develop motor ability, hand-eye coordination, and basic dressing ability. The components are designed for small hands, and the bright shades can attract a child’s attention. The sensory board has various difficulty levels and is also suitable as an autism toy.
- Made of soft felt wood
- Develops creative thinking
- Helps in color recognition
- Easy to carry
- Buttons may be slightly small
- Some buckles may be a bit hard
9. Best For Imagination: Esjay Toddler Busy Board
This sensory busy board is equipped with over 14 different varieties of buckles, zip pockets, and letter and number sets. The board is designed to help children develop their fine motor skills, learn how to count and spell, learn how to dress and groom themselves at their own pace, and improve their hand-eye coordination and imagination. Made of toxin-free and soft fabrics with no sharp corners, this busy board is ideal for children aged 18 months and above.
- Features an easy-to-carry handle
- Develops dexterity
- Thick fabric
- Available in several colors
- Velcro numbers may not last long
- May be hard to clean
10. Best For Analysis Skills: BrainUp Toys Toddler Busy Board
The BrainUp Toys busy board comes with numbers, pegged puzzles, etc. It enhances play-and-analyze excitement with different puzzles and helps discover different ways to tie kids’ footwear. This busy board has latches, wheels, time telling clock, a lock and key, and other fun activities. The base is crafted from high-quality natural wood, examined under European EN71 toy safety standards, and dyed with vibrant non-toxic water-based paint. It is lightweight and portable.
- Made of eco-friendly materials
- Develops sensory skills and memory
- CPSIA- and CPC-certified
- Plug may be slightly flimsy
11. Best For Physical skills: La-la-llama Montessori Toddler Busy Board
Made of high-quality, sustainably sourced wood, the La-la-llama Montessori toddler busy board lets your child explore different activities and learn playfully. It helps enhance physical skills, motor skills, and eye-hand coordination. The educational toy also helps the toddler to gain basic numeracy and literacy skills. Children aged from three to four years can play with it safely as the board is smooth and doesn’t have sharp corners.
- Stimulates imagination
- Encourages interactive play
- Enhances concentration
- Attractive and bright colors
- Door lock may be stiff to move
- Tiny pieces may not be suitable for children below three years
How To Choose The Right Busy Board?
Make sure to check for these features when buying a busy board.
- Material: Most busy boards are made from soft felt wool that makes them strong and safe. Some may be of good quality plastic material. Choose a material that fits your requirement.
- Activities: Activities such as lock and key, puzzles, and zippers are some basic ones included in several busy boards. Choose a board that includes various activities to enhance your toddler’s different skills and engage them in creative play.
- Portability: If a busy board is lightweight, it can be carried around easily, even during long journeys. This will ensure that your children will not get bored during traveling or disturb you while driving.
- Safety: Almost all the busy boards are made with your child’s safety in mind. Buy a board with soft corners and a smooth surface to help prevent accidents. Some busy boards also undergo safety testing to produce quality products.
- Additional features: Additional features could include adjustable straps or the design. These features are added to maximize the level of comfort and make them parent-and child-friendly.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Priti Bose writes about children’s toys and gifts. She puts in intensive research to select good products on various websites and suggests the best ones to her readers. Priti makes sure that the toys she selects for children are interactive, educational, and reliable. This post recommends some of the best busy boards for children to enhance their memory and motor abilities, while boosting cognitive development. She has also suggested a few tips to consider before making the purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are busy boards Montessori-aligned?
Not all busy boards are Montessori aligned, as these boards focus on multiple activities. Whereas, Montessori-aligned boards are simple and focus only on a single skill like buckling, lacing, buttoning, and latching.
2. What is the best age for a busy board?
Busy boards are designed and are available for different age groups. Sensory busy boards for toddlers are ideal for ages one to three years and educational busy boards are for ages four to six years.
3. What is the difference between a busy board and a Montessori sensory board?
Busy boards may include different activities and do not restrict to one activity. They are made to keep the child occupied while allowing them to learn basic sensory and motor skills. Whereas, Montessori sensory boards are typically restricted to a single sensory activity.
Busy boards or activity boards are a must-have for toddlers as they stimulate their senses while improving their motor skills. Besides, they also encourage independent play and improve concentration. When choosing a busy board for your little one, ensure it is made of non-toxic materials that meet your needs and have several activities that develop their problem-solving and cognitive skills. Also, ensure that it is lightweight and has no sharp corners that may hurt your child.
Infographic: How Can Busy Boards Help Your Child?
Busy boards help keep your child engaged with various stimulating activities in one place. Plus, they bring with them a series of cognitive benefits for children. So, check out the following infographic to know how these boards contribute to your child’s development.