Wednesday, August 15, 2012

5 Ways Entertain Younger Siblings.

One of the biggest challenges I have when homeschooling is trying to keep both of the girls entertained at the same time. I try to find activities that will be of interest to both girls, however, that doesn't always happen. In this case there are a few things that I do in order to keep my youngest entertained and limit distractions while working with my oldest.

1. Always make copies of worksheets. Giving your toddler the same worksheet that the older kids are working on will make her feel important. Even if the worksheet is too advanced for her. Hand her a few crayons and let her scribble to her hearts desire.

2. Hand over extra pieces. We have a few board games that I changed the rules to make more educational. When I play these games with my oldest I always give any spare pieces to the youngest. Again, this makes her feel like she is part of the game even if she is not playing by the same rules.

3. Let them destroy some paper. What kid can resist tearing up paper. Give your toddler a few pieces of paper, (I always save printer mess ups, and junk mail for this purpose) a pair of child safe scissors, and a golf tee. Let her poke holes in the paper with the golf tee (works best when you set the paper on carpet), try cutting the paper, or just rip it to shreds.

4. Give her an important task. When I play scrabble with my oldest, the youngest is always in charge of the extra pieces. When even someone needs more letters they have to tell the youngest how many they need and the youngest will count them out. Another task that is perfect for young kids is being the photographer. Show your toddler how to work the camera and let her go crazy. Although you will have to delete most of the photos she takes, it will definitely keep her entertained.

5. A bucket full of _____. In our class room we keep 4 buckets. Currently one contains legos, another cars, the third dinosaurs, and the forth beads. It is amazing how long a toddler can keep themselves entertained by dumping out the bucket, filling them back up, and all of the other random things they come up with. I change out the contents of the buckets every so often (when the kids start loosing interest in the) A few other items that I have had in these buckets are: Soda bottle lids, pom poms, ribbon, twist ties, marbles, empty spice containers, and empty sewing bobbins. (be sure that you keep a close eye on your child if they are playing with small objects.)

What do you do to keep your younger kids entertained? I would love to here your ideas.