I have 2 kids.
Ella is almost 5 years old and she’s just finishing up JK and Liam just turned 3 years old. When doing schoolwork with an older child it can definitely be difficult at times to keep a little one busy. After searching the internet and Pinterest, I’ve come up with a few activities that Liam really seems to enjoy and keeps him pretty busy while I’m homeschooling Ella.
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1. Colour Matching Activities
I just give him a bunch of manipulative and have him sort them into colour piles (we like to use these teddy bear ones and these cubes). I draw coloured circles on a sheet and had him sort them that way but you could also use boxes, bins or nothing if you’d prefer.
Paper plus markers or crayons equals at least an hour of fun. Throw in some random craft supplies and some glue and you my friend have bought yourself about 2 hours of silence.
3. Lego Patterns
Using Legos, Duplos or Mega Blocks, come up with some colour patterns. I have him build the same patterns with his blocks.
This one’s pretty self explanatory. I just give him a big pile books and let him have at it. This activity usually works best the day after a library visit so they’re mostly new books. I try to throw in a bunch of educational books too. We love this one, this one and this one.
5. Letter Match Activities
On a cookie sheet, I taped 2 pieces of blank paper and wrote down all of the letters of the alphabet. Using letter magnets, he matches the correct magnet to the correct letter
I know, I know! I forgot the letter D 🙁
6. Kumon Workbooks
I purchased a few Kumon books from amazon that he loves. They’re from ages 2 and up. He really loves this Sticker and Paste Book , this Let’s Cut Book and this My First Book Of Tracing. He asks to do them pretty much every day.
What kid doesn’t love stickers? I have tons of stickers that I bought from the dollar store. I just give him coloured paper and a huge pile of sticker. It usually keeps him busy for quite a while.
8. Interactive Notebooking
I use interactive notebooks in Ella’s curriculum so I though why not try it with Liam too just simplified. I just buy notebooks from the dollar store and create different activities for him. Each week has a different letter of the week. On Monday, I’ll just write a giant letter that fills the page and have him use stickers to copy it. The next day, I’ll cut out different letters and have him glue all of that weeks letters onto the next page. Wednesday, he’ll do some copy work and write that weeks letter out a few times. Thursday, he’ll glue in pictures that start with the letter of the week. I plan on starting another notebook with number and shape activities too.
9. Number Matching Activities
Again, an easy one. On a piece of blank paper, I draw big circles and numbered them. With manipulative, he places the correct number of bears in the correct circle. You could also use numbered flash cards. We use these ones.
Both of my kids love puzzles. We have tons to choose from and it usually keeps Liam busy for awhile.
11. iPad Games
My kids really love their iPads. To keep them from watching endless YouTube videos of other kids opening boxes or playing with toys (I honestly don’t get why these are so popular), I download education apps that they love to play. My kids love Tiggly Math and Letters, Abc Mouse and Cookie Monster’s Challenge.
I get most of my Play-doh from Amazon or Walmart but we go through it so fast I may try to make my own one day soon. It seems like such a waste of money buying so much of it all the time. We have tons of cutters and tools for him to use. I also purchased the Play-Dough Activity Binder from The Crafty Classroom from him to play with. It’s a printable binder full awesome activities. He gets to practice the alphabet, numbers, shapes and more. Both of my kids love this binder.
13. Include Them In “Homeschool”
I have a bunch of workbooks that I got from the dollar store. I’ve ripped out a lot of the pages for Ella but I let Liam have the ones that we’re not using. He really seem to enjoy this. He feels like such a big boy doing ‘school work’ even though he’s just scribbling away in them.
14. Wipe Cleans
15. Shape Sorting
I lay out some shape flashcards and then I give him a basket of toys that I’ve chosen. I’ll then have him sort them based on the shape of the toy (i.e. The plastic slice of pizza goes in the triangle pile and a mega block goes in the rectangle pile).
How do you keep your toddler busy while homeschooling an older child?
Let me know! I’d love so new and fresh ideas.
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