Saturday, November 23, 2013

18 suggestions for keeping little ones busy during homeschool hours.

I created a list of things I thought would benefit my kids and I while we are "in homeschool hours".  I will be putting up links where I found the things so you can try them too without having to search too much. There is a lot of ideas out there, check Pinterest too.

1) Make a rice bin

2) make flash cards easily accessible- flashcards of every kind, put them in a box they can reach.

3) sand letters- get cookie sheets with raised edges at the Goodwill and pour some fine sand into it. We brought sand back from our Siesta Key, Florida, vacation! I will try and get a picture up soon.

4) lacing cards, Melissa and Doug here and here, and another  2 sets from Lauri Dot-2-Dot we have boys and girls

5) rhyming basket and rhyming cards

6) movable Montessori alphabet, we also have an alphabet puzzle like this one. We used the puzzle until I bought the Montessori alphabet. I really didn't need it, it was an extra want ;) I bought my puzzle as a closeout on Ebay. They are sort of pricey. I paid $30 with shipping.

7) puzzle box easily accessible- get good puzzles, get one of the United States- let them learn this way.

8) Lego Duplos always in classroom in huge bin- we collect them from consignment sales.

9) Pattern cards and number cards, and shapes, I found for free online and downloaded and laminated for Lego Duplos. Put them in bag for portable fun- Busy Bag

10) Melissa and Doug magnetic alphabet set- has good lower case letters. You should teach your kids lower case first, as almost everything they read is in lower case the rest of their lives. Put a cookie sheet with it for them to sit at the table and stick the magnets too. Have them put the letters in order.

11) my dry erase cards with Saints and pictures, draw in numbers

12) dry erase board- Brenden loves that! (See at the bottom)

13) play dough and cookie cutters- designated for the homeschool room

14) sorting tray- I will show you ours, they love this! it is a Montessori like activity.

15) magnetic numbers

16) Leap Frog DVD's, yup, they can watch these, Letter Factory, Number Circus, Talking Words Factory. Also these "Holy Baby" and "Holy Baby Jesus Loves me, He is the Bread of Life" dvds

17) Put a high chair in your homeschool room. So the wee one can sit at the same table with your students and feel like they are participating.

Brenden with his dry erase board and high chair

18) I can't believe I just remembered I didn't put this one down. Melissa and Doug wood pattern blocks. All three of them love the pattern blocks and make their own pictures.

Basically the idea is to keep things where the kids can get to them. Back in "My Craigslist Homeschool room" I showed you all those shelves with books and art supplies and the rainbow drawers. This is where I keep these items- I labeled the shelves mostly for the sake of my husband and my mom or anyone else that comes over. The kids know where their scrap paper is they can cut and draw on, they know which drawers and shelves things belong. And it helps the reading book shelf and toy room is right down the hallway and not upstairs. The spinny thing on the middle of the table has their supplies right there so they can draw. Keep the things that you wouldn't want to leave them alone with up higher and put away, like permanent markers for instance.  All these things probably seem like easy duh things to seasoned homeschoolers, but I didn't have a clue when I started.  There are millions of ideas! And I still have things I want to try! Good luck!

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