Written by Aparna Hari
Babies love to work with their hands. They like to turn, twist, squeeze and explore everything with their tiny hands. Experiencing and understanding everything by feel is an important sensorial development. They are learning to use their sense of touch to understand the world around them. Busy boards for babies are something parents can consider to help with various senses and developmental activities
Babies need stimulating activities that will encourage them to use their brains, think from new angles, and use their hands, and fingers. When you give them such stimulating activities, they enjoy the challenge and learn via play. Busy boards are perfect activities that can stimulate effective learning via play.
In This Article
A busy board is a multi-activity board for babies. These boards are broad, safe for tiny hands to touch and explore and contain various activities to help a baby learn different skills. Everyday household items are randomly placed on these boards to encourage a baby to explore them in a safe manner.
A busy board also allows a baby to do things that are usually a “no” around the house. For example – if your baby wants to fiddle with a button or a zipper on your clothes, you may not let them do it as it can ruin the outfit. Whereas, if you add buttons, hooks, and zippers to a busy board, the baby can explore it to their heart’s content, and you would never say no to it.
Babies explore each item at their own pace and understand it in their own way. When something is not explicitly taught to a baby, they explore and come up with new ways to use the item. This stimulates creativity and development and keeps a baby busy.
A busy board encourages a baby to try various things with their hands. It makes their brain constantly think and come up with new ways to do the activity in front of them. Since there is no one right way to do these activities and a baby’s memory is quite short-lived, the brain comes up with different ways to do the same activity at different times. This is how the baby learns new skills.
A busy board helps in developing various skills in a baby such as cognitive, gross motor as well as fine motor skills. It helps a baby develop practical life skills, which they will put to use as they grow up. It also keeps them occupied and promotes self-play, which is another important developmental milestone.
[Read : Baby’s Fine Motor Skill Development]
A baby should be able to hold themselves up without any support, to start exploring busy boards. You can introduce them to this concept around 4 or 5 months of age when they have full control over their neck and most of the torso. Once your baby starts sitting up and playing, you can let them explore these boards without any intervention.
Your baby must be able to sit up and use their hands and fingers to explore these boards in their own style and time. In most cases, a baby will be able to handle a busy board independently around 6 months of age.
Here are a few ways in which these busy boards can benefit a baby below the age of one:
Busy boards allow babies to play by themselves. They come up with scenarios in their heads and play it out with their toys. Imaginary play is an important developmental milestone for a baby below the age of one.
Babies seek a lot of attention and need constant entertainment, or else they get bored easily. It can be very exhausting for a parent to constantly engage a baby. These boards are sure to entertain your baby and keep them occupied for an extended period of time.
A busy board is filled with things in different shapes, sizes, and colors. They are randomly placed in no particular order, which stimulates a baby’s vision and improves their focus.
[Read : Baby’s Vision Development]
When babies do a particular activity repeatedly, they learn to remember a few details from it. They recollect these details and solve the same activity better or faster the next time. Repetition of this will help improve their memory and develop the brain in multiple ways.
Drawing the baby’s attention and focus to an activity will help them disassociate from other things around them. This in turn can help in reducing stress, and stimulation and help calm them down.
Performing each activity and solving the puzzles helps develop problem-solving skills, which is very important as they grow up.
You can buy a busy board or make one at home with things around the house too. You can make multiple busy boards and keep switching them every month or so, to improve your baby’s skills. Here are 15 items you can find around your house to make a customized busy board for your baby.
You can use a busy board till your child finishes preschool. You have to change the items on the board according to age and skill development, or else your baby won’t actually benefit from it. As your baby learns a skill, you can introduce a new one to them through such boards.
A busy board for babies is a very innovative and interactive method of teaching a baby or a child practical skills. They also keep a baby well-occupied and give the caregivers a break. Overall, it is a worthy investment to consider for babies when you want them to learn practical skills in their own way.
It depends on how complex the activities are. If they are age-appropriate, the baby will use them as long as they master the skill. If it is too complex, they might need encouragement or might just give up.
Babies learn new skills at different ages. It is not practical to expect a 9-month-old to do things a 2-year-old can. Giving your baby age-appropriate activities will stimulate their brain and aid in developments that happen at that age. Else, it could be useless to them.
Yes, you can use random items from across your house and put them together for your baby’s busy board. However, you need to ensure they are well secured to the board and have no sharp edges that can hurt the baby. Always keep your baby’s safety in mind while making such boards.
Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.
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