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The Coolest Busy Boards & DIY Activity Centers for Toddlers

Plenty of us parents have been there: You desperately want your tiny tyrant to play quietly for just five minutes so you can answer that conference call/get some work done/pee without a child climbing on you. Sometimes, you just need your kid to be busy, and that’s just where the best busy boards come in.

Sure, you could do some DIY sensory crafts, or have them raid your recycling bin to get their cardboard box craft on, or even make a fort. But sensory crafts require your help, cardboard doesn’t exactly stand the test of time, and forts, while awesome, mean an hour of work for you and 20 minutes of play for them. So what’s a parent of toddlers to do?

Enter: these things called busy boards, or “activity centers,” that are basically a bunch of things to keep your kiddo occupied, all in one place. After all, you might as well admit that your house already looks like Santa’s workshop exploded, with so many different toys laying around. A busy board or activity cube can fit more activities while saving space. Genius, right? But Google them and you will be astounded by the price tags. Upwards of $300 for one of these things? No thank you. The good news is that with a trip to your local hardware store and a little bit of your time, you can DIY one yourself that will keep your toddler entertained for hours — without the crazy price tag. Plus, all of these DIYs come with step-by-step instructions, with plenty of room for personalization, and they’re all visually appealing, so you won’t mind (slash are going to brag so hard) when company comes over, because you made that. Go ahead. Flex.

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