Keeping the Little Ones Busy
As I spend a good chunk of our days teaching my four older children, I am finding that my younger two kiddos seem to run out of supervised things to do to occupy themselves. “Read me a story, please, Mom?” or “Can I watch a ‘toon?” seem to be the most common requests coming from Ben (3) and Noah (2). However tempting it is to just plop them down in front of the TV, these options are neither feasible nor smart when I’m teaching fractions or overseeing a science experiment.
I do try to include my younger boys in our lessons whenever possible, asking questions about characters in our Bible lessons, or having them trace over the shapes of the states that we are learning about, but sometimes I just need time with my older kids, without the babies constant interruption.
To help balance the mommy and teacher in me, I have a few activities that I set up for Ben and Noah to keep them busy, with little or no help from me. Of course, I’m just an arms-length away!
• We love Play-Doh, but I also like to mix up a simple dough, from just three ingredients that the kiddos can play with for hours. By setting out the alphabet and number cookie cutters, I am encouraging learning while they play. That’s the best kind of learning, right?
• All of my kiddos have always loved to color. Instead of handing them a coloring book, I like to let them create their own pieces of art with a plain sheet of paper and a box of crayons. Finger paints and watercolors are a big hit, too.
• Another fun way for the little ones to express their creativity is with Crayola’s Window Crayons. These soft crayons glide smoothly on the glass as they create a new masterpiece each day. Sometimes these masterpieces end up on tummies and legs, but that’s okay!
• Little ones love to see pictures of themselves and many like puzzles, as well. How about combining the two by taking a picture of your little guy, pasting it on to a piece of cardboard and cutting it in to shapes that can easily be pieced together. An activity guaranteed to bring smiles!
Whatever your daily schedule looks like, I'm sure you can incorporate some of these activities into your day. This is a great way to interact with your little one.