If you have a preschooler, this post needs no introduction. Preschoolers are just busy little people. They have lots of energy, and they can absorb so much. So what do you do when you’re trying to help your older kids with math or grammar, and the three-year-old is competing for your attention? You keep a great list of fun preschool activities handy and consult it often!
I finally decided to make a list of what my littles could do, mostly on their own, but sometimes with supervision from me or an older sister. Here’s what our list looks like:
Fill sink with soapy water and “wash dishes”
Use scissors, glue stick, and paper scraps and make “art”
Draw with a ruler and pencils
Preschool computer game
Play-doh or modeling clay
Wooden dress-up bear
Magnetic dress-up boy
Toy tool-builder set
Wood blocks and train tracks
Sort buttons or beads into ice trays or bowls
Hot Wheels and race tracks
Sort big pile of “bean soup” (dried bean mix)
One thing I learned to do was to rotate toys and activities. If all the toys are available all the time, they become boring. But if you put some away for a week or two (or a month) and keep just a few handy, kids don’t get overwhelmed, and then the stored toys become exciting next time you bring them out. We kept extras stored in large plastic totes in the garage, and did a monthly rotation.
I also made up a bunch of “activity boxes” for the learning-type activities. This allowed the little ones to do things at the table while older kids did schoolwork; things that are quiet and educational. Read all about those here.
Take a day or a weekend to organize toys and activities, make a list to hang on the fridge or in the kids’ rooms. Look around your house, compile a list of the activities and toys YOU have, and then hang the list where everyone can see it. This list will come in handy any time of year, for any family, whether you homeschool or not! A bored preschooler can disrupt your day, but a happy preschooler is a real joy!
To see how we handle preschool in our homeschool, check out my post Homeschool 101: Preschool.
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Nicki Truesdell is a 2nd-generation homeschooler and mother to 5. She is a homemaker at heart, and loves books, freedom, history and quilts, and blogs about all of these at nickitruesdell.com. She believes that homeschooling can be relaxed and that history is fun, and both can be done with minimal cost or stress, no matter your family’s circumstances. Nicki is a member of the Texas Home Educators Board of Directors. You can follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.