Busy Boards, 16 Examples for Inspiration

Help your baby or toddler develop their motor skills and get in touch with different sensory impressions.

For my son’s first Christmas, my husband wanted to make him a busy board. A friend gave him the idea, and after browsing the internet for inspiration, he hit the local hardware store and got to work. I had never heard of busy boards, so I got curious as well. What I found was so cool! There are so many different options and styles. Some are very much focused on motor skills, while others are more focused on sensory experience. Some use items found in hardware shops; others use items more commonly used for arts and crafts. Some are appropriate for babies, others more for toddlers.

There are many kinds of busy boards and sensory boards for sale. But making your own is so much more personal. My husband chose a rather minimalistic style, all hardware shop items.

I am planning to make a second very different kind of board myself and wanted to share with you a variety of examples to get inspired by.

Get inspired to make your own board

1 minimalistic board

This first one is a relatively simple example my husband made my son for his first Christmas. And even though it is relatively simple compared to some of the following examples, my son loved his gift and still plays with it (1,5 years later). And it was made with so much love by my husband that I really love it myself.

2 Sensory Board with different textures

You won’t need power tools for this kind of board! The materials used for this board are more commonly used for doing arts and crafts. It is more about different sensory sensations rather than motor skills with this board.

Sensory Board by Coffee & Toast Mama

3 Beautifully designed Busy Board

This beautiful board from “Something Turquoise” isn’t only fun for the kids, it also looks gorgeous and stylish in your home.

Something Turquoise

4 Busy board using wet wipe lids

Again a board you can make without power tools. You can use your creativity and put in all sorts of different sensory objects. It is a great way to upcycle those lids from wet wipes that otherwise land in the trash.


5 Phone, key chains, and magnetic board

I find this board so cute somehow. Maybe it is just because of the cute kid standing next to it. But it also uses some excellent ideas. I love the magnetic board, the phone, the keychain, and the little lights.

by Teachezofpeachez on Imgur

6 Busy board with animal shape

You could make your busy board on an animal-shaped underground like this one from Organic mom.

Etsy via Pinterest

7 Painting the background

This board looks really cool. But you can take the basic idea of having a colored background and overall theme and get creative with it.

Via Learning and exploring through play

8 Textile board

I love this board. Instead of power tools, you can use a sewing machine! These are all useful things for kids to practice getting dressed by themselves.

Via Mumsgrapevine

9 Learning how to use a zipper

This board is just zippers glued on cardboard. It’s so easy to make but looks colorful and fun! A great and simple idea!

by Laughing kids learn

10 Steering wheel

Wow, my son would love this board. It has a steering wheel!


11 Name on Board

Another great idea is to put your child’s name on the board!

hands on as we grow

12 Or an Initial

Or a busy board in the shape of an initial!

Via MumsGrapevine

13 Colorful and Creative

It’s hard to know where to look. It is so full of fun and creative ideas. This board will keep your little one busy for sure.

via Learning and Exploring Through Play

14 Two person Board

With this extra broad board, more than one kid can play at the board simultaneously.

From Lady Goats

15 Standing Busy Board with Chalkboard

I love this idea! I think this entire chalkboard is homemade, but you could also use the back of a bought chalkboard.

via https

16 Portable Busy Board

You can also make your board small, so it becomes portable. Perfect for long car trips!

Via Etsy

These are just a few examples. I tried to pick a wide variety of styles for inspiration. Have fun making your own board! And if you want, please share your results in the comments below.

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Help your baby or toddler develop motor skills and get in touch with different sensory impressions.

Busy Boards, 16 Examples for Inspiration