montessori busy board

5 Reasons Why Montessori Busy Boards are the Best Toy for Toddlers

The philosophy behind toys like the Montessori Busy Boards is quite simple: Real toys. Mostly Wood. Not Too Many.  This is based on the belief that children need to be encouraged to explore the world around them.  Play is a huge part of a child’s development.

Children learn quickly through play by touching and exploring various objects.  A busy board is a Montessori Toy that stimulates learning through experiments.  It is a toy that a child can touch and hold.  Learning to manipulate everyday objects help children develop their fine motor skills.  It will also help him figure out and work things out on their own and at their own pace.

You don’t need a lot of toys for your toddler.  Less can be more with a curious toddler who loves to tinker.  What they love are playing with wooden blocks, jumping on a mini couch, tinkering with a box of plastic kitchen tools, strewing paper across the living room floors, and enjoying an open-ended play.  These are all design to develop their gross motor skills and provide an opportunity for toddlers to explore their surroundings.  The best way to provide your child with the full sensory experience is to give him a Montessori busy board.

Montessori Busy Boards are Best for Toddlers

From birth to early childhood, children use their senses to explore and try to make sense of the world around them.  This is crucial to early childhood development.  This helps provide opportunities for children to use their senses as they explore through sensory play.

Learning through exploration is natural to children, which make sense when you consider the skills they need in order to build an understanding of spaces, objects, people, and interactions.  This is exactly what Montessori busy boards offer to toddlers.  It is a sensory board that is composed of knobs, keys, switches, and all sort of other everyday things that tend to inspire curiosity and exploration.  They offer ample opportunities for toddlers to tinker.  It is a thoughtful kind of toy for babies.  It is fun and simple.

Here are the top 5 Reasons Why Montessori Boards are Best for Toddlers:

1. Build Nerve Connections in the Brain

Parents can be quite dismissive about sensory experiences as a form of play.  They do not realize the full potential of sensory activities.  These things can have a huge impact on the physical development of your baby’s brain.

Your baby’s brain is packed of neurons.  Learning about the world through sensory play helps develop pathways between these brain neurons.  The more sensory experiences your child has, the stronger are the pathways that are developed.  Pathways may disappear when not used often.  Sensory play helps build strong pathways, which helps your child understand and complete complex tasks as he grows older.

2.  Promote Early Childhood Development

Montessori busy boards encourage sensory play.  Sensory play goes hand in hand with brain development.  This kind of play promotes early childhood development like cognitive growth, language development, fine and gross motor skills, social interactions, and problem-solving skills.

This helps the child’s physical development as well.  When they scoop, shape, splash, or mold things, they use various muscles to complete these actions.  While they are still unable to speak, they are already discovering, learning, and understanding things through the use of their senses.  They are learning about the world around them.

When they play with other kids, they are already observing how other people handle the things they play with.  They are already trying to discover how other children communicate, and they are discovering new ideas as they play.  All these things promote social interaction and boost cognitive growth.  It helps improve your baby’s communication and language skills.

Kids communicate with other kids, both verbally and non-verbally when they play.  You can observe your little one as he plays, and you will have a better understanding of his personal preference.  So, it is important to provide them with the right tools so that they would know that their preferences are accepted.  This will encourage them to communicate better.  They will learn new words and better ways to interact with the world around them.

3.  Enhances and Strengthen Memory

It is important to understand the importance of sensory play in relation to your baby’s brain development.  His memory is enhanced through practice.  So, let him practice and practice more.  Let him interact with different textures, tastes, and smells.  Let him use his senses in order to strengthen and build his cognitive and motor memories.

4. Calms Your Little One

Sensory play can be quite calming for kids.  Perhaps, you have noticed it – handing something interesting to your baby would help quiet him down.  He is always interested in everything around him, especially if the texture is something he finds interesting.

Montessori toys have been proven to calm overstimulated, frustrated, and anxious babies.  They become noticeably calmer and sleepier.  This is why water play helps relax your baby before bedtime.  Sensory play helps to relieve discomfort, agitation, anxiety, and restlessness.

5.  Teaches Children Sensory Attributes

Every time your baby touches something wet, sticky, cold, or other texture, he builds upon his previous understanding of textures and characteristics of objects.  Sensory play helps the brain recognize characteristics of things and sensations, and they are able to relate these things to similar items that they’ve experienced before.  A Montessori busy board helps your child verbalize different feelings as well as help them appreciates similarities and recognizes opposites (like wet and dry).

See one of our favorite small + compact busy boards on Amazon.

What is a Good Montessori Busy Board?

A Montessori toy encourages a child to build structure, pierce different blocks, and challenge their imagination.  A box of Lego maybe considered a Montessori toy.  This toy challenges kids to use their imagination.  However, it is not a straight Montessori toy because children need to follow one direction to get the same possible outcome.  Nonetheless, the Montessori approach emphasizes simplicity in encouraging children to learn things on their own through exploration.

So, what’s with Montessori toys?

There isn’t much plastic in a Montessori classroom.  The method emphasizes the use of natural materials.  They focus on healthy, safe, and enjoyable materials for kids.  These toys are simple – often wooden with simple moving parts.

There aren’t too many toys or clutter inside a Montessori classroom.  There aren’t too many options that could confuse or overwhelm a child.  They focus on well-chosen toys that children can use to learn new skills and explore the world around them.  A busy board is one of these toys.  It is a simple, elegant, and natural toy that your child can enjoy.

The concept of busy boards is actually pretty genius.  It gives children a way to tinker, learn, and explore the things around them safely.  These boards are strongly focused on tools that your baby will find around them.  The best Montessori busy boards have the following items:
  • Magnets.  Hold nuts, bolts, and screws into place with magnets.
  • Locks.  Challenge your baby with locks.  Add a couple of keys to give it a little bit of difficulty.
  • Textures.  Part of the benefit of an excellent sensory board are different textures. Add small items that would introduce different textures to your baby or toddler.
  • Gears.  Adding gears will help your toddler understand how things work.  He will have fun rotating wheels and different items one way and then the other.  He will understand the relation between gears on his busy board and gears on everyday items.
  • Tubing.  It’s a fun item to include in a busy board.  Your baby will love playing with it.
  • Nuts and bolts. Let your baby tighten and loosen up screws.  If you’re planning to make a DIY busy board, make sure to add this to your board. Your baby will have fun tightening and loosening them up.
  • Zippers. Babies love the sound and feel of zippers. They can spend hours on zippers alone – opening them and closing them over and over again.  Zippers are a great way to encourage sensory exploration.
  • Switches. Light switches will have your kids entertained for hours.  He will be flipping it on and off repeatedly.
  • Whiteboard.  Every creative tinker needs a place to collect and place their thoughts.  A whiteboard is easy to wipe off after your toddler is done using it.
  • Knobs and doors. Knobs are the perfect addition to a busy board.  Your toddler will love opening it and closing it.
  • Fidgets. It may not be necessary, but it is an excellent addition to any busy board.
  • Musical Instruments.  It may be a tad noisy to have a musical instrument on a busy board.  Fellow airplane passengers may not be too keen on the sound in the middle of the night; however, it is an excellent addition to a busy board. It will entertain your toddler for hours.
  • Shoelaces.  This is a great way to practice tying shoes.  Your toddler will have a fun time entertaining himself with trying to learn how to tie shoelaces.

For other meaningful choices for a Montessori style play, check out these other selections