Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ideas for Busy Toddlers

The timing of this post could not be more appropriate for many of us in the North, Midwest and East who are experiencing a harsh winter.  

Our area of the country is currently on the second round of snow days in 2014. This has made for a lot of happy kids : ) with extra time at home. Which, although many parents may be happy too, the extra time at home may cause some scrambling for ideas.

I often get asked how we homeschool with two toddlers in our house and how we are able to "get anything done."  Although the original idea of post was focused on keeping toddlers busy/productive while homeschooling older children, these ideas are obviously appropriate for toddlers at home in any situation.

Below are some of the activities that keep our toddlers occupied while I'm working with the older girls on their school work.  These activities also help build various skills such as fine motor skills, sorting, numbers, colors, patterns.  These are also great ways to help build focus and concentration etc. 

Sorting: This is a homemade activity.  We use a ice tray from Target dollar bin, fuzzy pom poms (also from that bin) and toaster tongs that we found at Bed, Bath and Beyond.



(And yes, friends, we do school in our bathing suits in the middle of winter. Don't you?! ha ha)

 Magnets: Orb Factory Magnetic Color Cubes mosaics a great one for building colorful pictures and patterns.  you can even use a clean baking sheet to make this mobile. (Be careful with younger toddlers and young children who tend to think all things are edible as these contain small pieces.)

                                                    Orb Factory Magnetic Color Cubes


                                                      Wooden Beads



                                                 Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wire Puzzle Rack

And yes, there are days when these activities get thrown to the wind...

 ...and this happens. : )

...and this!

...and this!
All while mommy and big sisters are engrossed in schoolwork. : )

Last, but not least, these cuties love doing their "big girl" work in tot school just like their older sisters and we attempt to work on tracing, letter recognition, colors, numbers, Spanish, calendar etc. 

What are some ways that you keep your toddler(s) busy and learning at home outside of time for free/imaginative play?

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