9 of the best busy boards for toddlers

Let’s chat about busy boards, mama. 

If you’re not familiar with them, they’re a sort of activity center for toddlers that feature a range of ‘fiddly bits’ like zippers, handles, wheels, latches, shoelaces, velcro, and more. They’re designed to help little kids develop motor skills, logical thinking, hand-eye coordination, and even learn their letters, numbers, and colors. Plus, they’re a fantastic way of keeping busy toddlers, well, busy, no matter if you’re at home, out to lunch, or on the road. 

Basically, they’re f*cking awesome. And here’s a list of 9 that we love.

VTech Silly Surprises Busy Board

Funny little name aside, VTech’s offering puts the “busy” in “busy board”. It features doors and windows for your child to slide, press, twist, or turn to unlock, helping them build those good ol’ motor skills. Behind those doors and windows, they’ll find pictures of a family, pets, and even a birthday party. Oh, and it plays music too – it comes with songs about numbers, letters, and the house itself. 

We also love that it’s got a carry handle so you can take it on the go and that it’s easy to wipe clean.

Buy it here

Source: Barnes & Noble

BumbleBee Smart Busy Board

Ok, so you can get busy boards that sit on a table or on your kiddo’s lap, or that prop up on a stand. Or you can get busy boards that attach to a wall! 

They’re big, they’re packed with clips, latches, switches, and more to keep little hands occupied, and they make for kickass bedroom decor. 

We love this aquarium-themed option from BumbleBee Smart, which features a series of panels that you can buy individually (and that can be used as a smaller busy board) or as a set to make up a wall-sized busy board. 

Buy it here

Source: Etsy

BusyhouseCo Busy Board 

You can also find busy boards in the shape of adorable little houses. We’re hardcore vibing this handmade one from Busyhouse Co for many reasons, including:

  • It’s 23.6in (or 60cms) high, meaning your little one can use it to practice their standing (that is if they’re still developing this particular skill!).
  • It features everything from gears and chains, to labyrinths and bells.
  • It’s covered in hypoallergenic paint and is easy AF to wipe down.
  • It can be taken apart, with each side used as an individual busy board panel.

Talk about versatility!

Buy it here

Source: Etsy

Merry Heart Wooden Toy Busy Board

Busy boards are a fabulous way to keep little hands and minds occupied when you’re out and about or traveling (yep, we’re talking at a cafe, on a road trip, and even during a plane ride). 

This version from Merry Heart Wooden Toy is designed like a handbag (e.g., it zips up and has a handle) and is made largely from felt, meaning it’s light and easy AF to transport. But it doesn’t skimp on activities or developmental opportunities: it’s got buckles, shoe laces, buttons, velcro, zippers, and more. 

Buy it here

Source: Etsy

Melissa & Doug Wooden Board

Playing with latches and locks can be super helpful for building your kiddo’s dexterity and fine motor skills. So if you want to go latch-heavy for your little one’s busy board, Melissa & Doug’s board is for you.

It featues six doors and windows all secured with latches and locks. Each door / window is numbered and shaded with a different color, and behind each there’s a cute picture of an animal – yep, this is a numbers, colors, and animals learning opportunity too, mama. 

Buy it here

Source: Melissa & Doug

Buckle Toys Busy Board

Playing with buckles is another way to help build your child’s dexterity, fine motor skills, and even their problem solving abiliities. (Who knew one little buckle could do so much!)

Buckle Toys’ busy board is simple, yet so goddamn effective. It offers four colorful buckles each with a different clasp style (#challenge), as well as a zipper, snap pocket, and shoe laces (to practice being a big kid!). It’s also lightweight, and has a carry handle. Win-win. mama. 

Buy it here

Source: Buckle Toys

deMoca Montessori Busy Board

If you’re not up to speed on what the F Montessori is, it’s a learning style that focuses on teaching kids skills like independence, amongst other things. 

deMoca’s Montessori busy board is designed to help kids develop said skills through real-world challenges. It features a latched door, a switch and gear, a little wheel, and a shoe lace, buckle, and velcro (the latter three are especially included to help children learn how to dress themselves – yes, please!). We also love that it comes in two colorways – one bright like a rainbow, the other subdued and earthy. 

Buy it here

Source: deMoca

Leo’s World Busy Board

Who doesn’t love a personalized product?! You can get pillowcases, purses, and yes, even busy boards personalized these days. 

Aussie brand Leo’s World makes the most charming busy boards that you can customize with your little one’s name. Not only this, they’re just a damn good product, too. Its medium-sized board is neither too big nor is it too small, features cogs, switches, locks, wheels, games, and more for a well-rounded sensory experience, and – get this – is eco-friendly to boot. 

*Adds to cart*

Buy it here

Source: Leo’s World

Perfectoria Workshop Busy Board Set

Now, if you can’t find a busy board you love or you simply adore DIY, you can also buy busy board kits that contain all the accessories you need to create your own, on whatever backdrop you wish. 

Perfectoria Workshop’s handmade set includes a maze, a clock, an hourglass, a tractor with gears, a little helicopter, and more, each with holes for you to fix to a board of your choice. You can also customize the color of these elements, and even request your little one’s name in wooden letters to add a special touch. How cute!

Perfectoria Workshop also sells the busy board bases and also many, many other busy board accessories too. Happy DIY-ing, mama. 

Buy it here

Source: Etsy

Well, now you not only are up to speed on busy boards, but you’re across the best of the best out there (well, a selection of the best anyway). Be sure to save your fave(s) from this list or even other busy boards you love to Mumli.

And for other playtime fun, read our piece on mom wins for quick and easy ideas for taming toddlers.

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