To continue our discussion of homeschooling older kids while having toddlers underfoot, here are some activities that will help keep those busy hands safe while helping Mom stay sane. Some of these activities I’ve learned from other moms and some I have discovered on my own.
But first and foremost, I have learned the hard way the importance of Mom giving her attention FIRST to the youngest learner. 1/2 hour of uninterrupted time with Mom goes a long way in setting the tone of a toddler’s behavior for the rest of the day.
It’s a very good idea to schedule 1/2 hour of toddler time while you are homeschooling with each of your older kids. The benefits go both ways too. Your younger child is benefiting from their siblings’ experience and your older siblings are practicing those fruits of the spirit!
Give them a handful of pipe cleaners and let their imagination run wild.
Don’t throw out that stack of junk mail! Save those unopened envelopes for your toddler. Allow them to open, “read” and rip at will.
A simple thing as a roll of scotch tape and a piece of paper will hold their attention for a longer than usual amount of time.
Separate toys into several containers. Rotate these containers daily during a set time. It’s like getting ‘new toys’ everyday!
These next activities have the potential to be a bit messy – and – should be used for toddlers that do not put small objects in their mouths…or their noses….or their ears! These are also best done on the kitchen floor.
A Tupperware container/box filled with dried lentils/beans/rice and a few cars or construction vehicles make for a fun time. Place container on top of a towel for easy clean-up.
A Tupperware container/box filled with rice and a couple of funnels. Place container on top of a towel for easy clean-up.
Playdoh – store bought or homemade played on top of an old vinyl placemat for each clean-up.
A Tupperware container filled with water and a couple of small plastic measuring cups. Place container on top of towel for easy clean-up.
Large bolts with washers — good for motor skills. Not necessarily messy, but, please make sure your child doesn’t put the washers in their mouth.
Homeschooling older children while you have babies and toddlers can be quite a challenge. But with a little pre-planning, this season in life is not impossible!