How to occupy your toddler while homeschooling others!
How to occupy a toddler at home while homeschooling other children!
Lockdown is upon us AGAIN and this time, I know what I’m facing at home. I am now homeschooling a 12 year old (Y8) and a 9 year old (Y5) with two lots of different school IT systems and two lots of different zoom meetings. I’m also trying to work…. I can juggle most of that, until I throw my toddler in the mix. Nathaniel is nearly 3 and the most active one of the bunch.
Realising that I can’t possibly do that same amount as last time and stay sane, I put out a plea on social media to friends on ‘how to occupy a toddler at home while homeschooling other children’. I received such a wonderful list, I thought I’d share it with fellow Mumblers! Every little helps!
If I had time, I’d do them all and rate them for you! If you have any other ideas, please do share on our social media pages so we can all help each other out during lockdown.
Ok, you may know about this already. But it’s a whole new world of wonder for me. I’m talking about the kind of stuff when you turn a tray into dinosaur land or a sensory extravaganza! It has inspired me, but I think my efforts may wane after a week…
The old faithful. Just get a giant piece of paper and a sticker sheet. We love getting Paw Patrol magazines (when we could go to a shop).
Thankfully, one of the toys I kept from my eldest son was the indestructible Brio train set. Nathaniel does want me to play ‘with him’ even though I’m not allowed to hold/touch the trains…
Hmmm, obviously I can’t leave him alone with this one, but water play includes so much! If able to, they can join in with washing up (to a point). My friend told me that her child likes to paint the blackboard with water and a brush. So we tried this and it was a much bigger hit than using chalks!
Make a list of items they can tick off and put in a basket. Like a toy with wheels, something that is green, something round, something very soft etc,
Children can play with playdoh for ages. None at home? Make your own. This recipe is from the BBC good food website! 8 tbsp plain flour, 2 tbsp table salt, 60ml warm water, food colouring, 1 tbsp vegetable oil.
1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the water, a few drops of food colouring and the oil.
2. Pour the colours water into the flour mix and bring together with a spoon.
3. Dust a work surface with a little flour and turn out the dough. Knead together for a few minutes to form a smooth, pliable dough.
4. Store in a plastic sandwich bag (squeeze out the air) in the fridge to keep it fresh.
Another idea from a friend… put some spaghetti in the play doh and then thread macaroni shapes over it. Choose a range of resources like chunky beads, giant buttons, colourful shoe laces, ribbons and string.
Get your child to tidy up each game or activity. Nathaniel loves this! (For now)
Old Christmas cards
Trying this one soon. Get your old Christmas cards, a pair of safe scissors and some envelopes and crayons. Your child can scribble on them, put them in an envelope, cut it up or post into something! Or give a card to a favourite toy.
Small toys in water and freeze
Ha! So we put his Paw Patrol pups in a tub of water and I froze them overnight (Zuma looks petrified). In the morning he dug them out with play doh tools. He loved this activity but it was a lot faster than I thought it would be!
Puzzles and books are easy to order online at the moment. Nathaniel is delighted with his Finding Nemo puzzle from Christmas. It’s amazing how quickly he has grown out of the wooden baby type puzzles and wants to try a more grown up version.
Place a beanbag or kids tent in a corner of the room and create a snuggle/reading area. Make it cosy with blankets or cushions, lights or other sensory materials.
Pot/tray with compost and toy animals
Put some compost in a pot or tray with some foliage and place some toy animals in it. Lots of imaginative play.
Tray of buttons
A tray of different coloured buttons and a couple of pots, ask you child to sort into colour groups.
Cut out pictures from a magazine and make a collage
Paper, scissors, magazines and glue. Make a picture using different layers from magazines, or rip it up into bits and form into a picture of your choice.
Leaf match, cut leaves in half and match
Go on a nature walk and collect some leaves. At home cut them in half and then ask your child to match up the halves and stick them on a piece of paper.