Thursday, August 10, 2017

How To Play With Busyboard: 7 Foolproof Ways

entertain your kid with these games

Congratulations - you made it! Or your husband made it, or your grandpa or you just ordered one. You've got a shiny new busyboard in your home. Now what?

You definitely don't want this big, heavy and often costly sensory board to be overlooked or tossed away. Did it ever happen to you that your toddler only took a glance at the new cool toy and walked away without even a slightest "meh" about it? I know your pain.

So, the least you can do is apply baby to the board and hope for better. Busyboards and babies are made for each other, so on the top level, it will do. As the boards include elements which are otherwise a baby no-no, the little rascals will immediately get their tiny hands on those. 

If, however, you spent too many efforts on this learning board and want to get some actual learning in return, there is more than one way to do it. Sit next to your toddler and show how adults can handle busyboard. Take this play to the next level like a boss. 


role play with busyboard

My all-time favorite. Pretend your busyboard is a control panel of a spaceship, or a command center of a submarine, or a magic princess beaut-o-mator. Turn and switch the details, saying out loud what you’re pretending to do. Say, if you're playing pirates with your ship-themed board:

- All hands hoay! Ding-ding-ding! Set the sails! Raise the flag! The southern seas await! Ahoy, matey, let's up-anchor! Beat that bell! Pull that rope! Check behind the door, if we have enough supplies! 

And so on. Do it with passion - that’s the best occasion to unleash your middle school drama skills. Perform well, and you'll be rewarded with admiration from your little audience. 


latch board details

Frankly, when I make a busyboard, I can’t name all the elements myself. Here's a challenge: sit next to your kid and name all the details one by one. The rule of thumb is you can’t call it “thing” or “object”. Google when you need and improve your vocabulary along with your little ones'. A nice twist to this game is to replace object names with sounds. “Click-clack” for a switch, “Boing-boing” for a spring stopper, but it gets more complicated as you get to wheels and buttons. 


car activity board the best toy for boys and girls

Remix this nursery super hit with your busyboard. If you did your best when making it, you’ve got the lines about wheels, doors, and horn all right. Come up with new ones, too! "The switches on the bus go off and on, off and on, off and on!" 



Grab few smaller toys - think lego men, little ponies or tiny action figures. Hot wheels cars do great, too. Apply them to the busyboard and see what happens. Cars can go in between elements like on an obstacle course. Toys can slide down the tubes, jump from one switch to other, hang on door chains to name few. Help them to make their journey through elements and ask your kids to help you with the storytelling. 


toddler playing with sensory board

The ultimate purpose of the busyboard is to develop fine motor skills in babies. To enhance the learning process, throw an intensive course. Sit next to your baby and help her to grab the elements properly, one by one. Note how the various hand positions serve various purposes, from precise pinch hold to strong palm grasp. Check out this terrific article by Bret Victor to get the idea of four fundamental grips and how they will influence your kids' future. 


The latches and locks are good in two conditions. They can be locked or they can be unlocked. The little doors can be open or shut. The wheels can be rolled down or up. Play the old cat-and-the-door game with your kid. Close the door, then ask them to open it. Then close it again. You do it - they undo it. Sounds familiar? Yes, if you have siblings, you don’t even have to bother. 


game to play with busyboard

Ask your kid to group different elements by a certain feature. It’ll work best for the toddlers from two years and older. Ask them to show you all objects that are round shape. All elements that make sounds. All elements metal. All things that can open and close. All things little and all things big. At some point ask your kid to think “out of the busyboard” - this game can be easily spread across the rest of the room. 

how to use a sensory board

Do you have a busyboard? How do your kids play with it? I’d love to know! Share in comments - I’ll be more than happy to update this post with your ideas! 

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