School and Little Ones – Part 2

May 3, 2007 at 11:58 am (Uncategorized)

Yesterday I promised to tell you some of the things I have done over the years to keep my "Littles" busy during school time.  So here it goes.

Play-doh – ALL my kids love it and I always have it on hand.  This is especially helpful during read aloud time.  Get all the kids at the table and get them set up with Play-doh.  I usually ask my older ones to make something that relates to what we are reading.  You could even take pictures of their creations and include them in a lapbook.

Paper and workbooks – I always have paper for them to draw on.  If I am working with my older son the younger 2 feel included because they can sit and "do school" too.  I give my youngest a coloring book and we call it his school book.  BTW, make sure any  work books you give them for school time are put away after school.  That way it is something special just for school and they will look forward to it.

Doll House – When my daughter was 2 I bought her a doll house just to be used during school time.  We kept it in the schoolroom and she was only allowed to play with it while we did school.  This worked great because she looked forward to school time so she could play with her dolls and it kept her quiet & busy at the same time! 

Dry Erase Board –  My kids LOVE drawing on a dry erase board.  This is something that has really been handy to have in the schoolroom to keep the little kiddos entertained.

Packets – One year I made up some little packets of activities for my daughter (she was 2 at the time) to do during school.  I got gallon zip lock bags and put little things in that would amuse her.  Packages of chenille stems to twist together, pasta noodles I had dyed bright colors to string on yarn, a puppet I had made of felt that had cut out pieces for the face for her to attach, wooden puzzles, a couple Mr. Potato Heads, etc.  During school time she was allowed to pick one or 2 of these packets to play with.  After school they were put away so she would look forward to school time again tomorrow.  HERE is a book at The Old Schoolhouse Store that has ideas for Preschool Activities in a Bag.  I have not read the actual book, but I have looked at it several times online and I am tempted! 

Fun Stuff – My son and I even made her a little touch box which was a box with holes cut out of the front.  We put a little flaps of fabric inside each hole so she could not look in.  Then we would put different items in for her to touch and try to figure out what they were.  We also made a 2 Liter "I Spy" bottle and we filled the bottle with sand and little fun items.  (Small toys, paper clips, craft sticks with words written on them, marbles, feathers, etc.) Then she could roll it around and look for all the things that were buried in the sand.  It was quite entertaining for her!

Board Books –  I always keep board books on hand to read to the younger ones between what I am reading to my older son.  Board books are usually quick to read and I keep them FAR from where we are doing school so they have to go a loooooooong way to get another one and it buys me some time with my older son. ;^ )

Videos –  I do sometimes put the little ones in front of a video.  I try to make it something educational.  But, not always.  Sometimes I just have to have a little time to work with my older son without interruptions.  Videos are usually my best bet for this!  (Our Public Library has a great selection of videos to check out.  This is a great way to get new videos to keep their attention for FREE!)

Do School Outside – When we lived in California we did school outside A LOT.  This worked great because the weather was awesome and my daughter would go off and play giving me time with my older son.  Where we live now we don’t do school outside very often because we don’t have any shade or good places to read.  But, I can see the whole backyard from the dining room table, so I send the 3 year old out sometimes while we do school at the table.

Distraction – Sometimes I will send the younger 2 on a hunt while I work with my older son.  I will tell them something like "Go find me 3 triangles." and then they go look around the house for things that are triangular or have triangles on them.  Then when they come back with those I send them off looking for circles, or something red, or whatever…It keeps them busy! 

Spend Time – One thing I have tried to do is make sure I spend a little time with the littler ones doing something special once "school" is done.  It might be a few minutes coloring with them, or doing a simple craft, or cooking something.  It makes them feel like it is their turn to do school.  I have a craft box that I put any cheap craft kits I come across.  (Clearance at Micheal’s and etc.)  When I don’t have anything special planned I will let them choose something from the box to do together. 

Let Them Play Together! – The truth is it is easier the entertain 2 little ones than one!  Because they play together.  When it was only my daughter who was the odd man out she needed a lot more from me to be entertained.  Now that she has her little brother…They play together!  They will build forts with all the pillows from the sofas, count money, make habitats for plastic frogs, play store, take the dog on adventures, etc.  Now that they have each other it is actually easier for me and I tend to do less of the things I mentioned above  And of course once they are all passed 3 it is easier to include them in a lot of crafts and projects you are doing anyway.

Well, those are the things I can remember for now.  Remember, it does get easier as they get older.  For me the hardest time was when they were under 3…hang in there!!!!



  1. Leigharev2 said,

    These are great!

  2. Anonymous said,

    Awesome! Thanks for some fresh ideas!
    Kim M.

    Visit us at our blog site :

    To drink is human, to drink coffee is divine!

  3. Angelheart said,

    Hello. I am really enjoying your blog today. You have a lot of resources here. Thank you. I wanted to tell you that we did the Activity Bags that you are talking about on this post. I did it as a homeschool group activity. My friend Becky purchased the book and then we had each person make one or two of the activity bags for each participant. It was nice because it didnt cost as much to put the bags together and when we left the swap I now have a box of goodies for my preschooler to do. We did this a few years ago and my son is now going into 1st grade but I have a 1 and a half year old that will still need them so they are in the wait. LOL

    Have a good day!!


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