Whether you have a busy 10-month-old who’s on the move, a one-year-old who’s just started walking or a two-year-old fully exploring every crevice of your house, toddler busy boards are a great way to help your child learn through play.
Toddler busy boards incorporate bits and bobs you have lying around the house into one place, ensuring your little one is playing safely and touching household items they think they aren’t allowed to touch. Saves them grabbing for that remote or shoe lying around again, right?
These children's boards are also known as sensory boards, fidget boards, activity boards or as Montessori educational toys, and they range from children anywhere between the age of 6 months old to three years old.
Benefits to getting your toddler engaging with busy boards
Toddler busy boards are motor skill activity centers which encourage babies and young toddlers to learn through play with items like zips, handles, wheels, string, latches and much more. Similiarly, activity cubes for toddlers also have the same effect.
Likewise, if you’ve gone to antenatal classes, you’ll know that creating treasure baskets for your child is important to help encourage sensory play. In short, these baskets are filled with items like wooden spoons, metal colanders or foil sensory blankets. These are so that your baby can experience different textures.
Developing your baby’s gross motor skills is really important and from the moment they hit six to seven months old, you may be starting to think about how you can help encourage your child to sit up, crawl and even walk.
Video: How to create your own DIY toddler busy boards
Here are 12 everyday items you can add to a board to create your own today:
Bells and rope
Wooden letters of their name
However, if you haven't got the time or resources to make your own DIY busy board for your toddler, here are a list of the best busy boards that you can buy.
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.
The best busy boards for toddlers in the UK 2022
1. SOKA Wall Element Rocket Activity Wooden Board
For toddlers aged 3-year-old and above, this Montessori rocket inspired busy board will help to encourage their imagination as well as their curiosity to explore all of the textures this activity board has to offer.
Review: "Pleased with service from seller."
2. Dinosaur Montessori Busy Boards
A customisable busy board that can be made personal to your little one which comes in three different designs. Choose from dinosaur, pink or blue and white. You'll be blown away by the attention to detail.
Review: "We bought this for my son’s first birthday. It is beautifully made & he’s going to have lots of fun playing with all the different sensory objects."
3. Melissa & Doug Basic Skills Board
We love the theme of this board - let your little one choose which sections of the board to play with and develop their fine motor skills.
Review: "A great little latch board. This one has kept my little one entertained non-stop. He is fascinated with locks, keys and doors at the moment and I thought this would be a great addition to his toys, I wasn’t wrong. We don’t leave this out all the time so he doesn’t become fed up with it but he actually requests it. So cute! He loves it! Very well built, nice weight to it. I would highly recommend it."
4. Melissa & Doug Lock and Latch Board Developmental Toy
This classic wooden board will help your little one develop motor skills as well as recognise different colours, numbers, animals and more.
Review: "18 month old is really enjoying trying to work out the latches on this. It’s well made, works well and is worth the money. Highly recommend."
5. Melissa & Doug Latches Board
This busy board is great for children aged three and up, and has great potential to help your child develop more complex motor skills and colour recognition.
Review: "Really nice quality and well made - this will last for a while. Because it is well made, I don't feel like I have to worry about buttons or laces coming off. They seem very secure."
6. Sinoeem VTech Latches and Doors Busy Board
This brightly coloured activity board, recommended from 12 months, includes latches, locks and doors to encourage their motor skills and co-ordination. Your tot will be fascinated with this busy board.
Review: "My 18 month old son is obsessed with turning our light switches on and off, so I saw this and knew I had to get it for him! He loved it as soon as he saw it. He likes the songs that play. it It has a variety of things to fiddle with and it has even helped him with his counting."
7. Montessori Busy Board
Suitable from 1 year, this customisable busy board featuring all kinds of different textures, keys, springs, latches, locks and educational tools will certainly keep them busy.
Review: "OMG this came today! We love it! My daughter is 14 months old and she is FASCINATED by this thing! Great attention to detail, I love how personalized it looks! It’s such great quality! This thing is solid, it’s going to last a long time! It’s way better than I imagined."
8. MELARQT Learning Advantage Horse Activity Wall Panel
Ideal for toddlers from 18 months, this simple activity board that can be mounted on the wall will engage their motor skills, counting skills, recognition of colour and animals too!
Review: "Great item that kids will love. Very sturdy and easy wall install."
9. LED Light Electronic Busy Board Toddler Toy
Have a toddler that's fascinated with switches? Here's an alternative that's safe and will keep them busy and engaged for hours on end. as well as encouraging the development of their gross motor skills.
Review: "Used for the first time yesterday, my son was entranced! Brilliant at keeping him quiet on a long road trip! Thank you."