How to Keep a Toddler Busy When You Homeschool

HOw to Keep a Toddler Busy While You HomeschoolMy son is 7 and home schooled; my daughter is 3 and loves to be involved. This is not always possible. Sometimes we really need her to be distracted while we focus on a subject and sometimes we invite her to work on the same things at her level.

Here are few things that interest her for more than a just few minutes:

Worksheets – while I believe toddlers and preschoolers should learn through play instead of strict academics, sometimes she wants a pencil and paper assignment like her brother. I like this preschool workbook for it’s prewriting skills.

Finger painting or ooblek – making a mess with paint or corn starch is tons of fun and a great way to keep her engaged. Her brother and I usually join in when we finish our work.

Building toys – We have a large bag of Mega Bloks that come out about once a week. These will keep her busy for hours.

Dress up dolls – paper dolls would work great, and these wooden magnetic dress up dolls are delightful!

Puzzles – this reversible puzzle wheel or this block puzzle are wonderful and work on her visual planning.

Picnic or tea party – these are favorite games for both children. A simple tablecloth or sheet or towel on the floor and a basket of play food or a tea set are all that’s needed. My daughter invites her superhero friends and has a blast.

Spelling words – at least that’s what she calls this see and spell toy. She enjoys finding the right letters for each word.

Bath – yes, sometimes I let her have a bubble bath while we work in the next room. Obviously I keep her in sight at all times.

Cars – I have a tin of toy cars that comes out once a week. Most of them belonged to my brother and myself.

Chalkboard – we have a large chalkboard in our hallway. I’ll get out a bunch of colored chalk or a set of magnets and she’s good to go.

The biggest secret here isn’t the specific toys; it’s that these toys aren’t always available. I have a basket of toy sets and I let her choose picnic, cars, puzzles, or any other set from it when I need a few minutes with her brother. The rest of the time these toys are stored in the cupboard. The rest of the secret is being ready to switch plans if one isn’t working. Find which toys occupy your toddler or preschooler for long periods of time and stash them away for when you need them.

Shannon Smith is a homeschooling mother of two who enjoys crocheting and cold weather.

Tags: educational toys, homeschooling, toddler, toddler activities, toys

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