You have your lesson plans laid out, you have your children ready to learn, but when you’re a busy homeschooling mom, how do you come up with creative ideas for little ones while you homeschool your older children?
One of the most blessed and challenging seasons for a homeschooling mom is having toddlers or babies underfoot. Yes, these years are sweet and they go by way too fast, but little ones are notorious for having the attention of a caffeinated squirrel. Finding anything that captures their active minds for more than a few moments can tax mom’s time.
What can complicate this season more? When you have other children who require even more of mom’s dedicated attention. What’s a homeschooling mom to do?
***Regardless of the fun activities you enjoy with your littles, parental supervision is always important.***
5 Creative Ideas for Little Ones While You Homeschool Older Children
Hide & Seek (super sleuth style)
Hide something your toddlers and preschoolers love and play “hide & seek” until they find it. Your preschooler may come to love this game, especially if there are treats and tricks hidden too. For example, hide a stuffed animal and also hide a snack, a sticker, or some other random objects. While the object is to locate the stuffed animal, there are fun “stops” along the way. Let them have fun looking around the room or another safe place, while you help your pre-teen or teen with their math.
No, I haven’t lost my mind here, you are not going to turn the kitchen over to your toddler for a Chopped Challenge. Allow them to play creatively. Take a small under bed storage box and fill it up with rice, funnels, and measuring cups. This activity can be messy (have a broom on hand for cleanup), but children love the sensation of filling and dumping the rice so much that you can pull out all the stops and maybe finish a whole workbook page before your little one NEEDS you again.
Get hold of a particular clothing item, such as a hat, a lab coat, something that you can use for pretending. Employ the help of your one of your older children. If you have a full quiver, all the better. If you are homeschooling just one other child, this option may not work for you. Have the “teacher” do an activity with your little one while you have a moment to work with another child. The teacher can read to the younger ones, do a puzzle, play a hopscotch game in the kitchen, whatever but both feel important because your older child has a title and your younger one has undivided attention.
Tissues are for more than colds
I’m not the only mom who’s discovered this game by accident. Here’s another messy one, but it’s a quick clean up, helps your little one practice fine motor skills. If your child is older and no longer putting things into his or her mouth, let them play with a pile of facial tissues. If your little one is younger, instead of tissues, put appropriately sized blocks in the box. Children love pulling out the items one by one, put them all back in and start again.
Hold on to a pizza box the next time you order out (or just ask for an extra) and cut out lots of construction paper shapes. Set your child to work at the kitchen counter making “pizza” for the family. They can then deliver it to all of the family in the house.
The Sweetest Season
Mama if this is your season of life, just know that it won’t last forever. You may feel like it in the moment. A wise person once said: when raising children the days are so long, but the years are so short. There is much truth in this sage advice. Try a few new fun things. If all else fails, just rearrange your homeschool schedule, so you are doing the bulk of your schooling when your little ones are either napping or in bed at night. Getting creative is one of the most valuable assets a homeschool mom can have.
Free Sight Word Bingo
Have fun while your children learn to read with this free sight word bingo.