Best Busy Boards for 1 Year Olds: (Updated 2023)

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best busy boards for 1 year olds

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On the lookout for the perfect busy board to captivate and educate your one-year-old, but finding yourself overwhelmed by the vast array of designs and features? You’re certainly not alone. Many parents and caregivers recognize the value of sensory and tactile play, especially during such a crucial developmental stage, but the challenge often lies in identifying the best fit.

Fortunately, busy boards have emerged as fantastic tools for cognitive and motor development, with many designs tailored specifically for curious one-year-olds.

Drawing from my expertise in early childhood development and educational toys, I’ve organized a comprehensive guide that zeroes in on the top busy boards currently available that are perfectly suited for one-year-olds.

Let’s dive into this tactile world of latches, textures, and colors, and guide you towards the ideal busy board that promises both fun and developmental growth for your little explorer.

Best Busy Boards for 1 Year Olds

Editor’s choice

518DH0TOeQL. SL160

JAGSYJOY Busy Board

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 5/5
  • Engagement 4.5/5

Runner Up

51BMyhRkvwL. SL160

Lanney Busy Board

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 4.5/5
  • Engagement 4.5/5

Best budget

51hmIakmPnL. SL160

Montessori Busy Board

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 3.5/5
  • Engagement 4/5

1. JAGSYJOY Busy Board – Editors Choice

This fantastic high contrast, vibrant busy board is sure to keep your little one busy for hours. The busy board features alphabet learning, allowing it to grow with your child.

The board even splits in two, perfect if you have multiple children.

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 5/5
  • Engagement 4.5/5
518DH0TOeQL. SL160

Pros

  • PREMIUM QUALITY soft felted wool with handy carry handles, perfect for travel.

  • 2 BUSY BOARDS IN 1! Our unique toddler activities board features not 1, but 2 busy boards, with 4 interior “pages” of activities for fine motor skills development, plus an illustrated alphabet on its front & back covers. Splits into 2 busy boards so 2 kids can play!

  • Featuring expert craftsmanship with strong stitching & intuitive detailing, our original design is made out of soft, durable felt fabric and sturdy yet pliable materials that are easy for little hands to operate

Cons

  • Some pieces may be too small for younger children

  • May not be as engaging for older children

  • May not be as durable as other busy boards on the market

If you’re looking for a fun and educational toy for your 1-year-old, the JAGSYJOY Busy Board Montessori Toys for Toddlers is definitely worth considering. This busy board is perfect for tactile learning and will help your child develop a variety of practical skills, all while having fun

The JAGSYJOY Busy Board Montessori Toys for Toddlers is a great toy for children who are just starting to develop their fine motor skills. It’s made from high-quality materials and is designed to be both fun and educational.

However, some parents may find that the small pieces are a bit too challenging for younger children, and that the board may not be as engaging for older children. Some parents have reported that the board may not be as durable as other busy boards on the market.

2. Lanney Busy Board – Runner Up

We love how this board packs 20 fantastic learning activities in to one compact busy board.

Covering the alphabet, getting dress, telling the time and more, this board will grow with your child and is ideal for travel.

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 4.5/5
  • Engagement 4.5/5

51BMyhRkvwL. SL160

Pros

  • Provides 20 different activities including buckles, zippers, shoelaces, snap totes, purses, and more

  • Great educational toy for early enlightenment and problem-solving

  • Portable and lightweight design makes it easy to carry and use while traveling

Cons

  • The material attracts fur and crumbs, making it difficult to keep tidy

  • The latches and buttons may not stand the test of time with rough play

  • May not be age-appropriate for children under 18 months

The LANNEY Busy Board is a great educational toy for 1 year olds and older. It’s portable, fun, and helps develop fine motor skills.

The LANNEY Busy Board is a great toy for parents looking for an educational and portable toy for their child. The board provides a wide range of activities that help develop fine motor skills and problem-solving abilities.

It’s also great for keeping children away from electronic screens.

However, the material may attract fur and crumbs, and the latches and buttons may not be able to withstand rough play. Overall, the LANNEY Busy Board is a great investment for parents looking for a fun and educational toy for their child.

Driddle Busy Board

This wooden busy board is a great price for a Montessori inspired toy and will look great in your nursery.

We love the realistic latch, buckle and switch which your child will find extra exciting from a sensory standpoint.

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 4/5
  • Engagement 4/5

Pros

  • Features 12 Montessori-inspired activities that are fun, sensory, challenging, and colorful

  • Safe- Made with premium wood that is non-toxic and free of BPA, Lead, and Phthalate, meeting all U.S. Toy Safety Standards

  • Portable design with handle, lightweight and perfectly designed for kids to easily carry and travel

Cons

  • The door for the mirror seems like it won’t last too long, especially with a very active 1 year old

  • Not as many activities as other boards

  • Constant supervision required

The Driddle Busy Board is a fun and educational toy that teaches kids basic life skills and helps develop their fine motor skills.

The Driddle Busy Board is an excellent toy that provides a range of 12 Montessori-inspired activities that are fun, sensory, challenging, and colorful. It is made with premium wood that is non-toxic and free of BPA, Lead, and Phthalate, meeting all U.S. Toy Safety Standards.

The portable design with handle makes it lightweight and easy for kids to carry and travel with.

One downside is that the door for the mirror seems like it won’t last too long, especially with a very active 1 year old. Some users have reported that the ripper was ripped by their toddler after only a month of use.

Finally, there is a choking hazard warning on the product despite being marketed for babies and toddlers.

Overall, the Driddle Busy Board is a great toy for parents looking to help their child develop their fine motor skills and learn basic life skills in a fun and engaging way.

Montessori Busy Board for Toddlers – Best Budget

This colourful felt busy board is perfect for keeping toddlers entertained on the go.

With 16 activities packed in to one toy, this interactive learning toy makes the perfect gift for toddlers.

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 3.5/5
  • Engagement 4/5
51hmIakmPnL. SL160

Pros

  • The busy board provides 16 different activities that are perfect for developing basic skills such as learning to dress and tie shoes.

  • The board is made primarily of felt cotton material that is soft, flexible, and durable, making it safe for your child to play with.

  • The lightweight design with a handle makes it easy for your child to carry the board wherever they go, making it a great travel toy.

Cons

  • Some customers reported issues with broken snaps or other pieces falling off, but these seem to be isolated incidents.

  • The board may not be challenging enough for older toddlers or children who are more advanced in their development.

  • While the board is portable, it may not be the best option for long car rides or flights where your child may need more variety to stay entertained.

If you’re looking for an engaging and educational toy for your little one, the Busy Board Montessori Toys for Toddlers is a great option. It’s durable, portable, and packed with activities that will keep your child entertained and learning for hours.

The Busy Board Montessori Toys for Toddlers is a great way to encourage independent play and help your child develop important skills. It’s also a perfect gift for birthdays, holidays, or any other special occasion. Overall, if you’re looking for a fun and engaging toy that will keep your child entertained and learning, this is definitely worth considering!

Bouncing Bobo Busy Board

This busy board is ideal for children aged 2-4, introducing them to the alphabet, calendar and clock as well as featuring a variety of buckles, zips and cogs.

We love that Bouncing Bobo have multiple designs of this fantastic busy board, so whether your little one loves unicorns or superheroes, pick up a Bouncing Bobo busy board today!

  • Safety 5/5
  • Developmental 3.5/5
  • Engagement 4/5
51+M6f7dXBL. SL160

Pros

  • 25-in-1 Montessori Toy: Includes 25 Montessori toddler activities like zippers, shoelaces, buttons, belt buckles, jigsaw puzzles, alphabet, clocks, and calendar games.

  • Baby Safe and Durable: Made of soft felted wool and ABS, and which is safe for your kids.

  • Designed Especially for Your Kid: Specially designed to keep the interest of a toddler. Girls love the pink unicorns while your baby boy will love the design of the blue version, with Superheros and cars.

Cons

  • Not Enough Pages: There is only one page inside- more would be great!

  • Cheaply Made: The product is pretty cheaply made, although this is reflected in the budget friendly price

  • Not for All Ages: Although advertised as a busy board for babies 6-12 months, it is more suitable for toddlers aged 1-3 years old.

Looking for a fun and interactive toddler sensory board or learning board? The Bouncing Bobo Montessori toys for 1 year old is a perfect choice. With Bouncing Bobo Blue Busy Board for baby boys, make a positive development in your child’s growth and hand-eye coordination while keeping little ones entertained for hours.

The Bouncing Bobo Busy Board is a great addition to any Montessori board collection of toys for baby boys and toddlers.

It is also perfect for traveling, as its compact design allows you to take it with you on the go. The lightweight, portable design is perfect for busy families on the move, and the durable construction ensures that it can withstand the wear and tear of travel.

This busy board baby game is specifically designed to help develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination in children.

With a variety of buttons, locks, zippers, clocks, image puzzles and other tactile elements, this busy board for babies 6-12 months is built to last and withstand the playful nature of toddlers.

Buying Guide

Busy boards are a great way to keep curious little ones entertained and engaged. These boards come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, with different activities to help develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and problem-solving abilities.

Busy boards, also known as activity boards or sensory boards, are fantastic tools for promoting the development of fine motor skills, cognitive abilities, and sensory exploration in toddlers. When reviewing busy boards for 1-year-olds, consider the following criteria:

  1. Safety & Durability:
    • Non-toxic Materials: The board should be made of child-safe, non-toxic materials since 1-year-olds tend to explore with their mouths.
    • Sturdy Construction: The board should be durable, with securely attached elements to withstand rigorous play.
    • Rounded Edges & Corners: To prevent injuries, ensure the board has no sharp edges or protruding parts.
  2. Developmental & Sensory Features:
    • Diverse Activities: A good busy board offers a range of activities such as zippers, latches, buttons, and textured fabrics to cater to different developmental milestones.
    • Sensory Stimulation: Elements that stimulate different senses, like mirrors for visual exploration, textured patches for tactile feedback, or bells for auditory stimulation, can enhance the board’s value.
    • Fine Motor Skill Development: Features that encourage pinching, grasping, twisting, and pulling are essential for developing fine motor skills.
  3. Design & Engagement:
    • Visually Appealing: Bright colors and varied shapes can captivate a child’s attention.
    • Interactive Elements: Movable parts, mirrors, or sound-producing elements can keep a child engaged for longer durations.
    • Size & Portability: For 1-year-olds, consider boards that are not too heavy and can be easily carried or taken on the go.

FAQS on Busy Boards

What age is appropriate for a busy board?

A busy board is generally suitable for children aged 1-3 years old. However, it’s essential to consider the child’s developmental stage, interests, and skill level when selecting the right busy board.

Some busy boards may cater to a wider age range, including toddlers aged 0-2, while others may be more suitable for older children aged 2-4.

What do you put on a busy board for a one-year-old?

When creating a busy board for a one-year-old, focus on engaging and age-appropriate elements. Some ideas include colorful wooden pieces, gear wheels, pegged puzzles, and everyday items like shoe laces or soft material with different textures.

Avoid small parts that pose a choking hazard and ensure all materials are non-toxic and free of sharp edges.

Why are busy boards not Montessori?

Not all busy boards are considered Montessori because they may not adhere to the Montessori principles of encouraging independent play, using eco-friendly materials, and focusing on single-skill development.

Montessori toys, such as Montessori sensory toys and boards, typically emphasize simplicity, natural materials, and a self-directed learning approach. Busy boards can be Montessori-aligned if they incorporate these principles.

Is a Sensory Board good for babies?

Busy boards are beneficial for babies as they promote the development of essential skills, such as fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and sensory skills. These educational toys engage children with fun activities, helping them learn through play.

Busy boards can also encourage independent play, allowing babies to explore and discover at their own pace.

Montessori sensory boards can be particularly beneficial for autistic children too.

How Do Busy Boards Help With Fine Motor Skills?

A good montessori busy board will feature a number of activities that will help children learn, as well as improving fine motor skills.

Designed specifically with tiny hands in mind, busy boards for toddlers often include activities such as lace tying, zips, buttons and more. Be aware that adult supervision is key when small parts are involved.

An activity cube is another great developmental toy to improve fine motor skills. You’ll even find fine motor skill activity centers.

Are busy boards good for 2-year-olds?

Yes, most busy boards are suitable for 2-year-olds as they continue to support the development of motor skills, sensory skills, and cognitive abilities. When selecting a busy board for a 2-year-old, consider their interests, skill level, and any specific learning goals.

There are many busy boards for toddlers and other age groups out there, so look for age-appropriate activity boards, sensory busy boards, or Montessori busy boards to provide a stimulating and educational experience.

For a toy that will grow with your child, consider an activity table.

Can I Make My Own Busy Board?

Lots of parents opt to save money with diy toys such as a diy montessori sensory board using household objects such as laces, zips and locks, so you’ll find tonnes of busy board ideas online. A sensory busy board featuring slime, sand and more might be particularly exciting for your little one!

Do be aware of safety around small parts however- some parents do prefer to buy a wooden busy board or latch busy board from a reputable brand, in order to have the peace of mind that the toy will have been stringently safety tested.

Conclusion and final thoughts 💭

If you’re looking to give your little one a developmental head start, a toddler busy board or busy board house is a great option- they are often compact and help your little one improve various skills all in one toy.

There are lots of different types available, with some being particularly helpful for sensory or fine motor development, and others helping with learning of colours, shapes and numbers. Take the time to read the buying guide above to help you pick the best one for your child.

Up next: Engaging Activities for 7 month old

Our No. 1 Recommended Product

JAGSYJOY Busy Board

This fantastic high contrast, vibrant busy board is sure to keep your little one busy for hours. The busy board features alphabet learning, allowing it to grow with your child.

518DH0TOeQL. SL160

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