Thursday, September 08, 2005

Keeping the little ones busy

Aubry's tea party with all of her best girlfriends!

Keeping little ones busy during homeschooling can be a challenge. This year I put together a "school box" for my 3 year-old daughter to use while her older brothers and sisters are doing their schoolwork. This helps me to keep her busy where I can see what she is up to and it also makes her a part of our schooling. Here is what I packed into a large Rubbermaid container:

construction paper
glue sticks
color books
alphabet magnets
foam cut-out shapes
beads and long pipe cleaners
25-piece puzzles

Each day she can pick 2 activities from this box during school time. Keeping it down to 2 items helps her to be excited about getting the box out each day.

I also made her a "rice box". I bought 10 pounds of uncooked rice and poured it into a large Rubbermaid container and added plastic funnels, spoons, bowls and cups. She also likes to use cars and blocks in the rice. The cost for the rice box is under $10.00 and she loves it. I have to pay attention to her because after about 15 minutes she generally starts throwing the rice around, which, of course, is a huge mess!

I have found that planning ahead for her helps our day go smoothly. After about 30 to 45 minutes she usually decides to go play in her room for a while and then she sits with us while we read books together.

Do you have any ideas to share for keeping little ones busy during school?
And here is an encouraging post from Mental Multivitamin's homeschool blog: Advice to a New Homeschooling Mother. It contains good advice for homeschooling mothers, old and new!