Today I’m thrilled to have Trisha from Intoxicated on Life as my guest!
She is sharing with y’all (and me); on a topic I’ve never had to deal with!
Homeschooling with a preschooler to keep busy!
Because I take care of a baby, in the future I may come upon this so I’m thrilled to have some ideas to keep in mind for the future!
Thank you so much Trisha for guest posting for me today! Be sure to stop by her corner ;)
Having a preschooler when you have older kids can be a challenge! It can especially be a challenge when you’re trying to homeschool an older child (or children) and maybe take care of a baby (or two babies in my case). Cameron, my second-born, is almost 4 year old, and he likes to push the limits with everything. It can sometimes be difficult to keep him out of trouble. I’ve found the key to making it through the school day is to have lots of fun activities to keep him busy. Don’t get me wrong, we still have some difficult days, but the more I have lined up for him, the better.
1. Do-A-Dot Paints -This was one of Cameron’s Christmas presents this past year, and what a hit it was! These paints and the corresponding book have gotten a lot of use over the past 8 months. I love that the Do-a-Dot book he received allows for us to make copies of the pages for our own use. It’s also educational, helping Cameron learn his letters, numbers, and colors. Best of all for Mom, it’s not nearly as messy as traditional paints. This is one of Cameron’s favorite’s things to do; I’ve seen him sit for up to an hour painting!
2. V.Reader - The vReader was another Christmas present Cameron received last year. Cameron refers to this toy as his “iPad.” An electronic gadget complete with touch screen that reads stories to your child, the vReader has the potential to keep Cameron busy for quite some time. He enjoys not just the stories, but the educational games that are included with each of the cartridges. We have just 3 cartridges and 2 downloads that go along with the vReader, but Cameron’s birthday is around the corner, and he is hoping for more cartridges for his “iPad”.
3. Crayons, Scissors, Paper, and Coloring books - I have a healthy pile of these supplies to keep Cameron busy. We have a mass of crayons, special scissors that are easier for him to handle, and various types of paper and coloring books. I am amazed at how long Cameron can sit and color, draw, or cut paper and stay perfectly happy.
4. Activity Books - Cameron has particularly been enjoying Kumon activity books. The tracing, maze, and cutting books have been a big hit with him. I’m sure there are similar types of free downloadable homeschool resources you can find, but the convenience of having a whole book of these activities has been worth the cost to me.
5. Lace-Ups - A simple, yet ingenious activity that helps to develop fine motor skills in children is a staple in many homes of preschoolers. I’ve seen some great home-made lace-up’s but I was able to find mine on clearance at a local store.
6. Button Art - This was another Christmas present Cameron received last year. He has really enjoyed it, and it has also helped to reinforcing colors. Cameron’s OCD tendencies also show through with this game. When he puts the buttons away he likes them lined up in perfect rows of all the same color!
7. Puzzles - It was almost exactly one year ago when Cameron started to really enjoy puzzles. It was just weeks before his 3rd birthday when we had several days of “potty training boot camp” where Daddy sat on the floor and colored, played puzzles, and did a variety of other activities with Cameron all day long. It was during this time that Cameron realized he could put “big boy puzzles” together all on his own. He’s loved them ever since!
8. iPad apps - We try to stay away from screen-time as much as we can in our home, and this includes the iPad. Cameron is limited to 1 hour or less of TV a day. I do feel better about allowing him to use some of the educational iPad apps though. Some of our favorites include Eggy Words, Reading Raven, Scribble Press, and Amazing Match. We are pretty new to the iPad scene, so I’m sure there are lots of other fabulous apps out there we don’t know about yet!
9. Crayola Dry Erase Markers - Dry erase markers for Cameron is a newcomer in my arsenal of activities. Thus far, it’s been a winner! Cameron likes that he can use the big dry erase board like his big brother, and Mommy loves that the markers are washable! I also use these in conjunction with free printables I’ve found on homeschool websites. I place the printable in a plastic page protector and Cameron goes to town with the markers. He enjoys the novelty of being able to color on the printable and then erase what he has done. I think these markers are going to be lots of fun to use with Cameron this year!
10. Play Dough - This is not my favorite preschool activity because it’s so messy, but it’s always a hit with Cameron when I break out the play dough! This is yet another activity that is great for that fine motor skills development and reinforcing color identification… that is, as long as your kids don’t smoosh all of the colors together like Cameron does sometimes!
I realize all of these ideas might not work for all of your kids. My second born is a particularly artsy type of child. My first-born wouldn’t have liked many of these ideas!
What are some of your ideas for keeping your preschooler occupied during school time? I’m always looking for new ideas to add to my arsenal!
Trisha is a mom to 4 fabulous boys and 1 wonderful husband. She stays busy homeschooling Bradley (8), trying to keep up with Cameron (almost 4), and loving on her twinsies Dylan & Elliot (1). Trisha also keeps herself out of trouble by serving on her church missions committee, serving on the board of a local homeschool co-op, teaching at the local homeschool co-op, counseling part-time at a local counseling center, reading, and writing on her and her husband’s blog Intoxicated on Life (intoxicatedonlife.com). Trisha loves to research and read about a number of topics. She writes about a great diversity of subjects on her blog including: faith, family, homeschooling, health, and anything else that strikes her fancy!