Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Tot Time Fun

When I was home educating just one child, it was relatively easy to do so. I only had to focus on him and we managed to get most of our schoolwork done during his little brother's nap time. However, younger siblings tend to grow, more arrived, and then I even began to babysit for two little girls younger than mine by a couple of years.

Out of necessity I started to put together busy bags for the younger crew. These were activities that once they reached the age of about three, they could pull out to do on their own. Under the age of three, they were able to do most of the activities with direct supervision. All had an educational bent such as learning letters or numbers or working on motor skills. They also served the purpose of keeping little hands and minds occupied while I worked with the older boys. 

I had quite a stash of activities when my youngest was four and I had the extra two little girls. Miss L is pictured above. She was 18 months old and was putting blunt toothpicks into a spice container through the small holes. She loved this and it kept her occupied for quite some time as well as helped her to develop fine motor skills. 

During our school day I would rotate activities as well as "stations." Since I had two small toddlers in a small house, one would sit at the table and work on the activities while the other would play in a playpen with some toys.

My youngest at about age 3 working on his cutting skills.

All my activity bags were stored in a large basket. They were saved for school time only, but you could certainly use them whenever it best suited you. By saving them for a special time, it helped to keep interest in them high.

If you have friends with young children, one really fun thing I did was to participate in an activity bag swap. Twelve is a good number to have in such a swap. Each person picks an activity and creates 12 bags of the same activity. The host then collects all the bags from everyone and swaps it out so everyone gets back 12 different bags (their own plus 11 different ones). I did mine through the mail, but it would be even easier to put something together with a group of local friends.

Below I have listed some of my favorite resources as well as a couple new finds that look great! I am now babysitting a sweet two-year-old. Since we have just started back our school year, I need to come up with some more activities to keep him occupied during our learning time.

*None of these links are affiliate links - just provided for ease of finding info.

Lisa is a wife to Bob. They just began their 21st year of marriage. She is also a mom to three boys (ironic, no?). Her oldest will soon be 18 but still has one more year at home. Her middle son is 13 and her youngest is 10. She also stays busy by homeschooling her children and watching a two-year old (a boy of course) full-time as well as other assorted children as the need arises for family and friends. She is very active in her local and state homeschooling community. She is also a very avid reader, enjoys writing, loves dancing at Zumba class, and checking Facebook a little too often. Lisa strives daily to become more Christ-like. She is reminded often of the Lord's mercy and grace and is thankful that He is so gracious to extend to her on a much needed basis. She lives in Maine on her own piece of "no-where land" with her family.

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