Which Busy Boards for toddlers are best?

Keeping a toddler occupied can be exhausting. With their constantly growing and changing preferences and likes, offering options that keep them thinking is your best option. A growingly popular toy for toddlers is the busy board. Complete with latches, buckles, toys, buttons and more, busy boards can keep your toddler engaged for hours. 

The best busy board for toddlers is the VTech Latches and Doors Busy Board. It has all the components your toddler could want to keep their little hands busy. 

What to know before you buy a busy board for toddlers

Giving your toddler a busy board is more than keeping them quietly occupied. Busy boards serve an important purpose in many aspects of your child’s development. 

As for sensory play, you can’t get better than a busy board. As they develop their sensory awareness, they learn how to interact with and experience the world. While they develop their sensory attributes, a busy board also builds your child’s fine motor skills. 

Fine motor skills are how your child learns to physically engage in the world. A busy board helps your child work on these small movements between their hands and fingers so they can move on to tackling things like zippers and buttons. 

Aside from physical development, a busy board can lead your child through their mental development. It promotes imagination and lets them practice problem-solving skills. It can also build their memory as they learn how to work the components of the busy board. 

Socially, your child will benefit from a busy board, as well. It’s a calming activity that can reduce anxiety and promote communication as they work through the problems. The more your child solves the busy board problems, the more their self-esteem will grow, giving them the confidence to face new problems at school or in their friend group. 

While there are many sensory play toys you can buy your toddler, a busy board should be at the top of your list. Before you buy a busy board, keep these things in mind:


Busy boards are typically made from either wood, plastic or fabric. The wood and plastic busy boards are durable, but may not be as portable. The fabric busy boards are often designed to be taken with you. 


If you’re planning a trip during which your toddler will have to sit in a car or on a plane for hours at a time, a busy board is a great distraction. Consider how portable your busy board is. While a solid wood busy board might work well at home, it may be cumbersome to travel with. 

Loose pieces

Some busy boards have loose pieces. These can provide additional sensory play, but they can easily get lost. You should also keep your child’s age in mind, as loose pieces could present a choking hazard if your child is young. 


Toddlers are known to be destructive, so you should look for a busy board that can withstand it. Plastic busy boards and plastic components are more likely to break than wooden ones and those with electronics can stop working. Think long-term about how the busy board withstands your toddler. 


Busy boards come in a variety of sizes. The smaller ones are great for travel. Medium-sized busy boards or those that come in a larger design are a good option for at-home use. There are also larger busy boards that can be installed on your wall. These are not portable, but can provide the most activity for your toddler. 

What to look for in a quality busy board for toddlers

Real-life skill practice

A quality busy board should have components that allow your toddler to explore real-life skills. Look for things like zippers, buttons and snaps. The best busy boards for toddlers will combine these real-life skill components with others that demand problem-solving skills. 

Engaging design

It’s challenging to keep your toddler engaged with an activity. The design of your busy board can make a big difference. Get a busy board that has exciting colors or one that’s designed to look like their favorite animal. 


Because a toddler’s attention span is short, you’ll want a busy board that has plenty of variety. Aside from a variety of components and activities, an array of textures and colors can keep them interested in their busy board longer. 

Varying skill level

Ideally, your busy board will occupy your child for years. To make that happen, you’ll need a busy board that has components for a variety of skill levels. While your child may not be interested in some of the trickier components now, it will provide them with a puzzle later on.

How much you can expect to spend on a busy board for toddlers

No matter what your price range is, there’s a busy board for you. For $20-$40, you can find a smaller busy board. These are perfect for road trips and flights. If you can spend around $100, you’ll find a larger busy board made from more quality materials and featuring more components. At this price range, you can buy a handmade board, too. If you want a wall installation busy board, expect to pay at least $150. 

Busy board for toddlers FAQ

Are busy boards good for toddlers?

A. Yes! Busy boards can play an important part in your child’s development physically, mentally and socially. It will support their fine motor skill development and problem-solving skills. Busy boards can also help your child practice real-life skills, like zippers or buckles. 

What’s a good age for a busy board?

A. If your baby is at least 6 months old, you’re ready for a busy board. A busy board will likely keep your child engaged for a couple of years, at least until they’re 3 years old. After that, they may begin to lose interest in the puzzles they’ve already solved. 

What should be on a busy board?

A. There are some standard components you’ll see on a busy board: zippers, buttons, locks, etc. That being said, anything can be on a busy board. If there’s a component that will fit on your busy board and it entertains your child, consider adding it. 

What’s the best busy board for toddlers to buy?

Top busy board for toddlers

VTech Latches and Doors Busy Board

VTech Latches and Doors Busy Board

What you need to know: The VTech Latches and Doors Busy Board is the best option because it combines a variety of components with bright colors to keep your toddler interested. 

What you’ll love: It plays music like the “ABC Alphabet” song to help your child learn and stay engaged. 

What you should consider: This is not the busy board for you if you’re looking for a quiet toy for your toddler. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top busy board for toddlers for the money

Melissa and Doug Latches Busy Board

Melissa and Doug Latches Busy Board

What you need to know: If your child is obsessed with locks and closures, this is the busy board for them. 

What you’ll love: This is a quiet busy board that will keep your child busy as they work on their problem-solving skills with the latches. 

What you should consider: This is best for toddlers who are at least 2 years old and up, according to reviewers. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohl’s and Buy Buy Baby

Worth checking out

Classic Busy Board Learning Binder

Classic Busy Board Learning Binder

What you need to know: Primarily made of fabric, a Classic Busy Board Learning Binder provides your toddler with the real-life skill practice they’ll need to engage with the world. 

What you’ll love: This busy board is designed to be portable, so it’s perfect for travel. 

What you should consider: This may not hold your toddler’s attention as long as a busy board with latches and locks. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Kasey Van Dyke writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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