DIY Montessori Board: How to Make a Toddler Busy Board with Simple Supplies

As parents, we are always looking for ways to keep our little ones entertained and engaged in learning. The Montessori method of education has gained a lot of popularity over the years due to its emphasis on hands-on learning and independence. One of the most iconic Montessori tools is the busy board – a customized board filled with a variety of sensory activities and challenges for kids to explore. If you’re interested in creating your own DIY Montessori board for your toddler, you’re in luck! With just a few simple supplies and some creativity, you can easily make your own version at home. In this article, we’ll show you step-by-step instructions to make your own Montessori-inspired busy board for your little one. 

Key Takeaways:

  • A toddler busy board is a stimulating toy that offers a range of activities to engage and entertain young children, promoting fine motor skills, sensory development, problem-solving abilities, and independent play.
  • Gather the necessary materials, follow step-by-step instructions, keep the Montessori philosophy in mind, use the board to enhance toddler activities through independent play and sensory exploration, and select child-safe and developmentally appropriate materials.
  • By customizing the busy board to meet your child’s specific needs, you can create a personalized learning and exploration experience that supports their individual development.
  • Include materials that promote fine motor skills, explore busy board ideas for different age groups, utilize printable templates for guidance, securely attach items to the board, and consider creating a sensory board to enhance your toddler’s tactile experiences.
  • Making a DIY Montessori board using materials you already have at home is an economical and creative way to provide your child with a stimulating learning experience.


What is a Toddler Busy Board and Why is it Important?

A toddler busy board is a stimulating and interactive toy that offers a variety of activities designed to engage and entertain young children. Let’s explore the definition of a toddler busy board, the benefits of having one for your toddler, how a Montessori busy board differs from a regular one, the suitable age for a busy board, and where you can buy one for your toddler.

Definition of a Toddler Busy Board

A toddler busy board, also known as an activity board or sensory board, is a hands-on toy consisting of a panel with various objects and activities that toddlers can manipulate, explore, and play with. It aims to promote fine motor skills, sensory development, problem-solving abilities, and independent play.

Benefits of Having a Busy Board for Your Toddler

Having a busy board for your toddler offers numerous benefits. It encourages fine motor skill development, hand-eye coordination, cognitive skills, and concentration. Busy boards also promote sensory exploration, stimulate creativity and imagination, foster independent play, and provide a safe and engaging outlet for toddlers to explore and learn.

How Does a Montessori Busy Board Differ from a Regular One?

A Montessori busy board follows the principles of the Montessori method, emphasizing hands-on, self-directed learning. It typically incorporates natural materials, real-life objects, and activities that promote practical life skills and sensorial exploration. Montessori busy boards encourage open-ended play and allow toddlers to engage in activities at their own pace.

What Age is a Busy Board Suitable For?

Busy boards are suitable for toddlers who are around 1 to 3 years old. This age range aligns with the developmental stage when children are eager to explore their surroundings, manipulate objects, and develop their fine motor skills.

Where Can I Buy a Busy Board for Toddlers?

Busy boards can be purchased from various sources. They are available online through e-commerce platforms, specialized Montessori stores, toy stores, and sometimes even handmade by skilled artisans. Additionally, you can find DIY instructions and create your own customized busy board for your toddler.

How to Make a DIY Montessori Busy Board for Your Child

Creating a DIY Montessori busy board for your child can be a fun and rewarding project. Let’s explore the materials you’ll need, step-by-step instructions, the Montessori philosophy behind the creation of a toddler busy board, how to use it to enhance toddler activities, and tips for selecting the best materials.

Materials You’ll Need to Make a Busy Board

To make a DIY Montessori busy board, you’ll need a sturdy board as the base, various child-safe objects such as locks, latches, knobs, sensory materials, fabric, and other interactive elements. Ensure that all materials are safe, age-appropriate, and securely attached to the board.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making a Toddler Busy Board

  1. Choose a suitable board size and material.
  2. Gather a variety of child-friendly objects and materials.
  3. Plan and arrange the objects on the board, considering placement, accessibility, and sensory experiences.
  4. Securely attach each object to the board using screws, bolts, adhesive, or other appropriate fasteners.
  5. Double-check that all objects are firmly attached and that there are no loose parts or sharp edges.
  6. Test the busy board to ensure everything functions properly and is safe for your child to interact with.

Montessori Philosophy Behind the Creation of a Toddler Busy Board

The Montessori philosophy emphasizes promoting independence, fine motor skills, sensory exploration, and problem-solving abilities. A Montessori busy board provides an opportunity for children to engage in hands-on, self-directed learning, fostering their cognitive, physical, and emotional development.

How to Use a Montessori Busy Board to Enhance Toddler Activities

To enhance toddler activities with a Montessori busy board, introduce the board gradually, allowing your child to explore and discover the different activities at their own pace. Encourage independent play, problem-solving, and sensory exploration. Observe and provide support when needed, allowing your child to engage with the board in a way that is meaningful to them.

Tips for Selecting the Best Materials for Your Toddler’s Busy Board

When selecting materials for your toddler’s busy board, consider their developmental stage, interests, and safety. Choose objects that promote fine motor skills, sensory exploration, and practical life activities. Opt for child-safe materials, avoid small parts that can be choking hazards, and ensure that all objects are securely attached to the board.

How Can a Toddler Busy Board Benefit a Child’s Development?

A toddler busy board offers a wide range of developmental benefits for young children. Let’s explore how it promotes motor skill development, sensory stimulation, cognitive development, benefits for toddlers with special needs, and how to customize a busy board to meet your child’s specific needs.

Motor Skill Development

A busy board provides a multitude of activities that require fine motor skills, such as twisting knobs, turning locks, and manipulating various objects. By engaging in these hands-on activities, children develop and refine their hand-eye coordination, finger dexterity, and overall motor skills.

Sensory Stimulation

Busy boards offer a variety of sensory experiences, incorporating textures, colors, sounds, and tactile elements. As children explore the different materials and objects on the board, they engage their senses, stimulating sensory development and enhancing their understanding of the world around them.

Cognitive Development

A busy board presents children with problem-solving challenges, puzzles, and activities that require logical thinking and concentration. By interacting with the board, children develop their cognitive skills, including spatial awareness, cause-and-effect relationships, and critical thinking abilities.

Benefits for Toddlers with Special Needs

Busy boards can be particularly beneficial for toddlers with special needs. The multisensory nature of the activities can support sensory integration, improve focus and attention, and enhance fine motor coordination. Busy boards also provide a safe and engaging outlet for children with special needs to explore and interact with their environment.

How to Customize a Busy Board for Your Child’s Specific Needs

To customize a busy board for your child’s specific needs, consider their interests, abilities, and developmental goals. Adapt the activities on the board to align with their individual needs, whether it’s incorporating additional sensory elements, modifying objects for easier manipulation, or focusing on specific skills they are working on.

Ideas and Inspiration for DIY Montessori Busy Boards

Creating a DIY Montessori busy board is a wonderful way to engage and stimulate your child’s senses and development. Let’s explore ideas and inspiration for toddler busy boards, busy board ideas for older kids and kindergarteners, printable templates and instructions, tips and tricks for attaching items to the board, and how to make a DIY sensory board for toddlers.

Toddler Busy Board Ideas: What Materials and Items to Include?

When designing a toddler busy board, consider including materials and items that promote fine motor skills, sensory exploration, and practical life activities. Ideas can include locks, latches, knobs, buttons, zippers, fabric textures, shape sorters, and simple puzzles. Incorporate a variety of colors, shapes, and textures to engage your child’s senses.

Busy Board Ideas for Older Kids and Kindergarteners

As children grow, their busy board activities can evolve to include more complex challenges. Ideas can include letter or number recognition activities, word puzzles, magnetic boards with alphabet or number magnets, mazes, and other hands-on educational elements. Tailor the activities to their developmental stage and interests.

Printable Templates and Instructions for DIY Montessori Busy Boards

Printable templates and instructions can serve as a helpful guide for creating your DIY Montessori busy board. Look for free or paid templates available online, which can provide you with ideas for layouts, shapes, and activities. Adjust and customize the templates to suit your child’s needs and preferences.

How to Attach Items to the Board: Tips and Tricks

When attaching items to the busy board, ensure they are securely fastened and child-safe. Use screws, bolts, strong adhesives, or other appropriate fastening methods. Consider the durability and safety of the materials used. Inspect the board regularly to ensure that all items are securely attached and in good condition.

How to Make a DIY Sensory Board for Toddlers

A sensory board offers tactile experiences that engage your toddler’s senses. Incorporate various textures, such as soft fabrics, rough surfaces, smooth objects, and interesting materials like buttons or beads. Include sensory elements such as textured balls, squishy toys, or crinkly fabrics to provide a range of tactile sensations.

How to Make a DIY Montessori Board out of Materials You Already Have

Creating a DIY Montessori board using materials you already have at home is a cost-effective and resourceful way to provide your child with a stimulating learning experience. Let’s explore how to make a busy board out of a piece of wood, engage fine motor skills with a DIY Montessori board, repurpose items at home for your toddler’s busy board, create a DIY Montessori button box, and share tips for making a DIY board for a baby.

How to Make a Busy Board out of a Piece of Wood

Repurposing a piece of wood into a busy board is a straightforward DIY project. Clean and sand the wood to ensure a smooth surface. Attach various child-safe items such as locks, latches, buttons, fabric swatches, and textured materials securely to the board. Consider the size and placement of each item to offer engaging activities for your child.

Fine Motor Skills Exercises with a DIY Montessori Board

A DIY Montessori board provides excellent opportunities for fine motor skill development. Include activities that require pinching, twisting, buttoning, or sorting objects. Examples can include clothespins, nuts and bolts, threading activities, and small containers to transfer objects. Encourage your child to practice and refine their hand-eye coordination and finger dexterity.

How to Repurpose Items You Already Have at Home for Your Toddler’s Busy Board

Look around your home for items that can be repurposed for your toddler’s busy board. Old keys, doorknobs, fabric remnants, bottle caps, shoelaces, or jar lids can be transformed into engaging activities. Get creative and think about how different materials can be adapted and incorporated into the board to offer unique sensory experiences and learning opportunities.

How to Create a DIY Montessori Button Box

A DIY Montessori button box can provide an engaging activity to enhance fine motor skills and cognitive development. Find a small box or container with a hinged lid. Attach various buttons of different sizes, shapes, and colors to the lid. Your child can practice buttoning and unbuttoning the buttons, refining their hand-eye coordination and patience.

Tips for Making a DIY Board for a Baby

When creating a DIY board for a baby, safety is paramount. Use larger objects that are securely attached and do not present any choking hazards. Incorporate items that offer different textures, colors, and sounds to engage their senses. Ensure that all materials are age-appropriate and carefully supervised during play.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some of the best items to include on a DIY Montessori Board?

Some great items to include on a DIY Montessori Board are knobs, latches, locks, light switches, peg boards, and small sensory items like fabric swatches, sandpaper, or textured objects.

Where can I find the supplies needed to make a DIY Montessori Board?

Most of the supplies needed to make a DIY Montessori Board can be found at your local hardware or home improvement store, such as plywood, acrylic, and various hardware items.

Do I need power tools to make a DIY Montessori Board?

While power tools can make the process easier, they are not necessary. You can use basic hand tools like a drill, screwdriver, or hand saw to create your board.

How can I ensure that the items on the DIY Montessori Board are safe for my child to play with?

You should avoid including small items that can be choking hazards, and should make sure that any hardware items are securely fastened to the board. Additionally, you should supervise your child while they use the board to ensure their safety.

How long will it take to make a DIY Montessori Board?

The amount of time it takes to make a DIY Montessori Board will depend on the size and complexity of the board, as well as your skill level. Give yourself plenty of time to decide on the design and gather the necessary supplies.

Is a DIY Montessori Board suitable for babies and young toddlers?

Busy boards are great for babies and young toddlers who are learning to explore and manipulate their environment. However, you should always supervise your child while they play with the board.


In conclusion, creating a DIY Montessori board using materials you already have at home is a fantastic way to foster your child’s development while being resourceful. By repurposing items and engaging in fine motor skill exercises, you can provide a stimulating and educational experience for your child. Whether it’s repurposing a piece of wood, repurposing household items, or creating a DIY Montessori button box, the possibilities are endless. Embrace your creativity, prioritize safety, and watch as your child learns and grows through hands-on exploration and play. Enjoy the process of creating a personalized Montessori board that will inspire and engage your child’s curiosity and development.

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Written By Ella
As a passionate parent and Montessori follower, I encourage child independence and share my personal parenting insights. In my downtime, I enjoy family activities, tea, and reading, and I invite you to join my journey in the Montessori way of raising resilient children.

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