Why Every Toddler Needs a Busy Board
Do you remember playing with a busy board as a child?
They always seem to have been around. Unglamorous but mysteriously engaging. Like the bead rollercoaster in the doctor's surgery waiting room, they have captivated children for generations.
Busy boards, also known as activity boards, offer numerous developmental benefits, particularly in the realm of fine motor control. They lay the foundation for essential skills, such as handwriting and pencil control and develop children's ability to focus.
What is a Busy Board?
A busy board is a hands-on, interactive toy designed for toddlers and young children. It consists of a board or panel featuring a variety of tactile elements, such as locks, latches, zippers, buttons, and knobs. These elements encourage children to practice fundamental movements like up-down, left-right, twisting, and around, all while engaging their curiosity and keeping them entertained.
The Benefits of Busy Boards
Fine Motor Control
One of the primary benefits of a busy board is its ability to help toddlers develop fine motor skills. As children manipulate the various elements on the board, they refine their hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and finger strength, which are essential for tasks like buttoning clothes and using utensils.
Busy boards offer your child a controlled environment for practicing fundamental movements, as the fixed elements on the board don't allow for deviation. This focused practice helps her become more adept at these movements, laying the groundwork for future skills like handwriting and pencil control.
As toddlers explore and interact with the different elements on a busy board, they develop problem-solving skills, logical thinking, and an understanding of cause-and-effect relationships.
Toddlers learn with their senses. There is so much to learn about the world and busy boards can provide a rich sensory experience, with various sights, sounds and textures to stimulate your child's curiosity and development.
Busy Boards and the Path to Handwriting and Pencil Control
The repeated movement of a slider on a busy board seems like a mindless diversion, a way to keep your toddler occupied for a few minutes. But the truth is that this action replicates the ascenders and descenders of handwriting, the vertical lines of letters like 'l', 'm' and 'd'. One of the tricky parts about handwriting is to bring the pencil back down over the same line it went up. Using a slider cements this action in your child's mind and makes it automatic.
Go up, change direction, come back down.
Busy boards also have dials, mazes, and zig-zags, giving your child the full repertoire of actions required for letter formation.
Busy boards are an invaluable addition to any toddler's toy collection, offering a fun and engaging way to develop crucial fine motor skills. With their interactive elements and controlled practice, these activity boards lay the groundwork for essential skills like handwriting and pencil control. By incorporating a busy board into your toddler's playtime routine, you're not only providing entertainment but also fostering a strong foundation for their future development.