DIY Busy Board

Have a busy toddler? Make an easy “Busy Board” to engage your little ones and give yourself a few moments of quiet time.

Our kids have one of the Melissa and Doug latch boards, but to be honest, it is rarely played with. Save yourself some money and make this DIY version with stuff you probably already have in your home or workshop. Additional items could also be found at thrift stores or garage sales for really cheap.


Busy boards are not only great for toddlers to keep themselves busy but they develop their fine motor skills as well. Willa loves ours and even Lila, who is almost 5, enjoys it too!


I won’t take credit for our Busy Boards…this was my husband’s project. He made these on two pieces of scrap plywood and didn’t have to purchase anything. All of the parts were items we had: nuts, screws, hooks, latches, handles, things to twist and turn, and old tools.


We keep them on one of our art shelves in our garage since this is where they spend the most time (playing outside and crafting in our garage art area). They like to pull these out from time to time and enjoy finding different ways to use the tools.


Did you know that Busy Boards are also great for dementia patients and those that suffer from Alzheimer’s? Has anyone else made a Busy Board? What other found objects did you use?

2 thoughts on “DIY Busy Board

  1. Hey Lisa,

    Vera speaking. These pastel colors are lovely, and the little chain is a charm! Must be super nice feeling to move the details on it back and forth. Very well done.

    So, your girls love to use tools with it? That’s cool. It’s a great instrument for imaginary play, don’t you think? Not only for motor skills. I made few, and my top elements are spring door stoppers, steering wheels, bells, and old computer fans.