How to play with busyboard? If you are asking that question, that means you’ve completed all previous levels! Nice job nailing this parenting thing, kudos to you!
Alors, you made it! Your baby has got a shiny new busyboard. Now what?
You definitely don’t want this big, heavy and often costly sensory toy 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.
Usually you just apply baby to the board and hope for better. Busyboards and babies are made for each other, so more often than not, 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 all the goodies.
If, however, you want to push your return-on-investment, there is more than one way to use busyboard for learning activities. Sit next to your toddler and show how adults can handle busyboard. Take this play to the next level like a boss.
– All hands on the deck! 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. The key is to 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.
Frankly, when I make a busyboard, I can’t name all the busyboard parts 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.
THE WHEELS ON A BUS
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!”
BRING IN THE SMALL TOYS
Grab a few smaller toys – think lego men, little ponies or tiny action figures. Hot wheels cars do great, too. Then, 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.
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.
I DO IT – YOU UNDO IT
The latches and locks are good in two conditions. They can be locked or they can be unlocked. Also, 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? What I want to say, is that if you have siblings, you don’t even have to bother.
ALL THE THINGS…
Ask your kid to group different elements by a certain feature. It’ll work best for toddlers from two years and older. Ask them to show you all objects that are round shape. All elements that make sounds. Metal elements. Things that can open and close. Little things and big things. At some point ask your kid to think “out of the busy board” – this game can be easily spread across the rest of the room.
Do your little ones come up with their own games? Can they tell you how to play with busyboard? I’d love to know! Share in comments – I’ll be more than happy to update this post based on your ideas!