Everything You Wanted To Know About Busy Boards
What Is A Busy Board?
A busy board is a board with a collection of fidget-elements with which a child can get 'busy.'
The board is often wooden but can be made from a variety of materials. Some boards are large and tend to be more stationary, others can be quite small and ideal for entertainment on-the-go.
What is on a busy board?
There are no requirements as to the elements on the board which leaves room for lots of creativity. Obviously, the more intriguing to a child the aspects are, the better. Often, the elements of a busy board will be comprised of non-toy items that little ones would fidget with around the house.
The following are some examples of things that can be found on a busy board:
- A life size outlet with plugs.
- A zipper.
- A switch.
- A rolling wheel.
- A fidget spinner.
- A set of gears.
- A latch with an opening and closing little door.
- A door stopper.
- A lock and key set.
Are Busy Boards Montessori?
Yes! Busy boards foster sensory recognition and encourage real-world exploration, both essential to the Montessori method. Not to mention the calming effect some quiet play can have on a toddler lost in its own thoughts.
Real world exploration is a hard thing to accomplish via toys (i.e. the play-world) but the more comparable the 'play' gets to the real thing, the more there will be learning.
What Age Is A Busy Board For?
Typically, the target age range for busy boards is between 6 months and 3 years. These are the years children are absorbing many new things from our world and therefore are quite explorative. However, technically, if the fidget aspects are stimulating or therapeutic, a child can play with a busy board until a surprisingly old age.
How Can I Make My Own Busy Board?
This isn't our area of expertise, because we sell busy boards. So, we will pass the microphone to the good people at Something Turquoise for their article on the topic.
However, from manufacturing our busy boards to be sold in our shop we've learned a few precautions to keep an eye on when making your busy board:
- Be sure to use a wood that doesn't splinter. Your child will get quite handsy with this board, so be sure to prevent these boo-boos.
- If you will be using paint to decorate this board, confirm that the paint is non-toxic. The paint used for the walls in your house is much less likely to be ingested by your toddler than the paint on their toys!
- When choosing elements, be sure that they aren't too pokey or jagged. For example, a latch element might have a pointy top which could cause injury to your angel.
- If you will be creating a bigger sized board, be sure it is stable enough not to tip or topple onto your child. Your child is small, so the board in comparison can inflict some damage.
Where Can I Buy A Busy Board?
Busy boards continue to grow in popularity and so does market for them. That's why we've recently unveiled our own busy board, especially because the non-toy focus of busy boards fits squarely in our niche.
Let us know your thoughts on busy boards and their usefulness! Also, if there is anything else you're curious about, do let us know.