Keeping the younger crowd busy during a homeschool day can be a constant challenge! You want them to have fun, you don’t want to continually shush them or send them out of the room, but you would like for them to play somewhat quietly while the big kids study. Oh, and don’t forget about the very short attention span!
So what do you do?
I have a whole shelf of activity boxes with preschool activities, and we have a rotation of toys stored out of sight to “surprise” them with. For example, we keep a giant box of castle-building duplos, Little People buildings and toys, play-doh and other sets stored away and bring them out once every couple of weeks. If it hasn’t been seen in awhile, it’s lots of fun and keeps their attention longer
Here are a few of our other “busy” activities:
The dress-up bear.
Computer time. Nicholas (almost 5) likes to play on PBS Kids or Nick Jr. Most of the CD games we have became outdated when we got a new computer this year, so we rely on online games.
Bean scooping. This is too easy. Just assemble an assortment of containers (we used individual applesauce bowls, snack bowls, and other odd, small containers), some dried beans, and spoons for scooping. I used measuring spoons in different sizes. Fill one container, and instruct the children to scoop the beans into the other containers. It takes great concentration!
We have all hard floors, so if they spill, we just sweep up when the kids are finished.
Of course, we also use coloring books, spiral notebooks for drawing (the .15 kind from WalMart), stickers on paper, a hole-punch with paper strips, and other fun, simple things. A break with some outdoor time also does wonders!