Ideas from a mom of 10 for keeping toddlers busy during school hours so mom can concentrate and not worry about what her littles ones are getting into!
It never fails.
The toddlers are playing nicely as you begin your homeschool day; however, 2 minutes into teaching square roots, and they have disappeared. An eerie calm overtakes the house. You hear squeaky laughter intermittently escaping from somewhere down the hallway. You follow said laughter only to find all family members 3 feet and under sitting in the bathtub playing happily…
covered in bubble bath.
(Toddlers are WAY too sneaky for their own good!)
As a large family homeschooling mom, I’ve had my fair share of toddlers, and ALL of them have required some level of supervision during school hours.
A few have been content to be right next to me the entire time I’m teaching, and some of them have needed a full-time crew of older kids + mom to keep them alive during school hours!
READ >> How I Occupy My Busy Preschooler
Never a dull moment, my friends!
So, what’s a mom to do? Well, here’s my Top Ten List of:
Ideas for Toddlers While Mom is Homeschooling
This one works great when you have elementary aged children and younger. School does not take as long in those early years, so it can easily be fit into the toddler’s nap schedule. For years we homeschooled at 1pm every day because that was when the toddler napped.
My toddler LOVES to keep his younger brother company in the play pen. No, it’s not a cage, but hey, even if it was…what toddler doesn’t love a cage?!
My toddler has his own crate and box of supplies just like the big kids. He spends a goodly amount of time sitting right beside us “working” away.
My post on Occupying Preschoolers has a fantastic resource for creating “Busy Bags” that are great for little hands and minds!
Chunky puzzles are so much fun for little ones! Get a wide variety and rotate them!
Need I say more?
Toys or workbooks just for school time
It could be soldiers, it could be horses, it could be dress up clothes…but whatever it is, it is ONLY for school time! This keeps the toys and workbooks fresh and interesting to your toddler!
Not just for reading! My children create the most amazing “book houses” with their board books. They stack them and then play with little people and animals all over them as if they are an apartment building! You might have to show them how to do it once or twice, but after that their plastic McDonald’s toys will be living in the lap of luxury!
Yes, these still exist and they are so much fun! Our favorite company is Felt Fantasies. They make Bible Stories and Construction Scenes and Dress Up Dolls and so much more!
And a #11 for those of you who are worn out and just can’t hang with any of these ideas…
Let ’em run and clean up later
Some days are just like that, mama. I’ve been there and we all survived!
And if you need more ideas for keeping those toddlers occupied, check out this post:
Handling Toddlers and Preschoolers During School Time
(includes a video discussion with several large family moms!)