As you know, having little boys is still new to me (I spent nine years raising girls before the first boy came along) so I’ve met many new challenges in our homeschooling day! One of these challenges has been “how in the world do I have some quiet school time with the big kids while these little bundles of energy do everything in their power to un-do all my housework?”
I got a great suggestion from one of my favorite blogs, Raising Olives, and it has already worked wonders for us! It’s called Blanket Time. It’s basically training your little ones to sit on a certain blanket (or rug) with only certain toys or activities and play quietly for a specified amount of time. They must stay on the blanket, play only with the activity given, and make no noises with their mouth.
I decided to start with 15 minutes for Nicholas (which is a long time for him!) and have a different toy set aside for each day of the week. That toy is saved just for blanket time so it’s not old and boring, and when the time is over, he may choose to play there longer if he likes.
The very first day, he asked for more blanket time. Yay! It’s working well for us. I use it while Nathan takes his nap, giving me some quiet time to work with the girls without interruption.
In the photo below, he’s playing with a magnetic dinosaur scene.
In a pinch, when I need him to be quiet, I’ll let him play with things that the older kids use for school. Here, he’s playing with some math blocks, making pictures. He’s not doing math problems, but he’s quiet. And, believe it or not, he’s thinking geometrically. He sat with these for about 1/2 an hour!
If you have something that works for busy little preschoolers, please share in the comments!
I have other ideas for preschoolers! Read them here.