Favorite Tot Activities of the Week

Favorite Tot Activities of the Week

Homeschooling multiple kids can be a balancing act. Depending on the range of ages of the kids, it can be hard to find that good middle ground. Too much focus on the younger ones and the education of the older ones suffer. Too much attention on the older kids, and the younger ones demand attention…at least mine does. 😉

This week though, I feel like I was able to strike a pretty decent balance. I feel like I can conquer the world now! Or, at least take on next week. haha

Quick note. To help achieve this balance, the girls had taken it upon themselves to knock their math out first thing in the morning before breakfast. Thus taking the pressure off the rest of the day to make sure it got done and opening up more free-time later in the day to pursue whatever their interests are at the moment.

Here are the activities I found this week that kept my very active Little Man busy so that I could give the girls some attention. We were all in the same room, which always helps him feel like he is a part of whatever is going on.

Activity #1- Chocolate Scented Playdough {Homemade}

You guys remember last week how we made lemon scented playdough? One of my readers commented with ideas about different scents for different colors. I joking replied saying maybe I could try cocoa powder for a brown colored playdough. Well, since Little Man picked brown as our color of the week, I decided to actually try using the cocoa powder. It came out so delicious smelling that the girls and I wanted to eat it!! {Rosie couldn’t get over how much it resembled brownie batter.}

So this is what Little Man did a couple of days during our art time, and after a couple of his naps. 🙂 I pulled out my good ole cookie cutters: the letter ‘C’, the number ‘5’, a cat, and a cross.

 

Activity #2- Painting

Since his sisters were painting, Little Man wanted to paint as well. Instead of a regular paint brush, I decided to try something different. It’s just a small bath brush I picked up from the Dollar Store awhile back. He loved it! He wouldn’t let me give him any other brush to use. haha I gave him brown (color of the week) paint, as well as yellow and orange…since it is supposed to be fall. (It feels NOTHING like fall yet over here.)

Activity #3- Dot Markers

Another one of my guy’s favorite activities is using the dot markers. This week, I found some cool letter printables that went along with our letter of the week, ‘C’. The best time, really, to give him these was during our art time because all other times he is busy running around. I honestly wasn’t sure how well this would turn out, but he LOVED dotting in the circles! It was pretty amazing watching his focus while he covered the ‘C’s and then the ‘B’ sheet. This activity kept him busy for a good while.

 

Activity #4- Playdough with a Purpose

Okay, before you keep scrolling, hear me out. I know I already said playdough, but that was just letting Little Man free play with it. This brought a different element to the play. I found and printed out some more letter sheets. Then I laminated them. And then I gave them to him to use while playing with the chocolate scented dough. We made a game out of the page with all the ‘C’s in circles saying that the ‘C’s were hiding. And on the page with the block-style letter, we made a ‘C’ snake. He did eventually move on and just start using some of the things on the table with the dough. But when his dad got home, he went right back to the dough-covered pages and told him all about it.

Activity #5- Lentil Bean Sensory Play

Back when Little Man was about 18 months old, I tried the sensory bins with NO LUCK. Seriously. They entertained the girls more than the toddler…and the mess. Oooooh the mess. No matter what I did there was always a large mess to clean up. I seriously spent more time setting up and then cleaning up than he spent playing. But I digress.

I’m not sure what made me want to try these again. But I did this week. And I’m glad I did. I filled a small bin [note to self: need a longer under-the-bed bin] with some lentils and added some things for Little Man to play with. It was great! Very little mess and his imagination just ran with it. At one point he told me he was making pancakes as he was filling the large muffin pan. Later he was pushing puff balls down into the filled cups and said the puff balls were hiding. 🙂 I’ll definitely be pulling this out every so often now. But with different toys that correlate with the week’s themes.

Activity #6 – Nature Treasure Walk

I don’t have any pictures to share with this one because I purposefully left my phone at home while we went on a walk.

I got to thinking a week or two ago that I may need to direct my Little Man’s energy and help him get some out. That’s why we start our Morning Time with movement songs. Once he has jumped, skipped, stomped and spun around the room, my little tot is ready to sit still for a little bit and listen to a couple books and sing along with our other songs. So wouldn’t this work for the rest of our day?

After Morning Time, art, and morning snack, we’ve started going on a walk to hunt for treasures in our neighborhood. Little Man gets a small bucket with a handle from the garage and we take a short-ish walk through the neighborhood. He, of course, stops often to pick up things he finds interesting. But I love it. I love seeing what he finds worthy of putting in his bucket and what he will stop and look at then declare “I don’t like it” and keep walking. He is very proud of his found treasures and loves to dump them out when we get home and look at everything. And, by the time we get home, the excess energy for all three kiddos is gone. If it isn’t time for lunch yet, then we’ll get some school done before we eat.

Playing outside before dinner.

So there you have it! Six activities I’ve found, by trial and error, to help contain my 2 year old’s energy so that we can get some book learning in!

Do you have some go-to activities or ideas that help keep your active little one happy while focus on your older kids? I would LOVE to hear what works for you! It takes a village! 😉

Have a great Friday y’all and a great weekend!

 

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