BUSY BAG BINDERS
I constantly get the question, “what do I do with my little ones while I am homeschooling my older ones?” It’s a simple answer, let them participate in school as well. Your little ones look up to their siblings and want to be just like them. Why not use that to your advantage? This is your opportunity as a homeschooling leader to set the precedence that they too will be doing school, just as their older siblings when they're XYZ age. Later on, trying to get them to sit down and do their “book work” will be a much easier process.
You say to yourself, “Okay, Amanda, do I give my newborn baby a crayon and piece of paper? Do I hand my 14-month-old a list of vocabulary words to write and spell out for me, while sitting quietly in a chair? Or maybe, do I hand my 3-year-old busy boy chalk and board filled with complex math problems and say “have at it, little one.”? The answer is, no. Sure, are there children out there that are prodigies and geniuses? Yes, but the reality is that’s not what most people have been blessed with. Your newborn needs to be loved, fed, and changed, your 14th month old wants to run laps around the homeschool table just to be near you, and your 3-year-old busy boy can’t sit still long enough for you to tell him, “yes, we’ll go outside and play tag when school is over.”
As I mentioned above, let them participate in school as well. Below, I have listed my recommendations of ways to entertain your young one, while you teach your oldest his/her newest math lesson.
As you will see, some of these bags have toys your child probably already has around. Just pairing them with a few flashcards or categorizing sheets, can turn something you have laying around the house into a learning activity for your little one. Just remember though, that these are for your homeschool day and not for playing purposes. Inform your little one that this only comes out during school.
***Please be advised that I am not an expert and you need to know your child before giving them anything that can be harmful to them. I am not recommending that you give these items to them and walk away. Watch your children, as it's your responsibility as a parent to give them appropriate items for their ages. This is merely what I have done for my children at this particular age.
Fill these bags with items that have different textures and colors to them. I used a pencil bag that was clear and filled them with sand, water beads, and hair gel. I added a few buttons and felt gingerbread men and snowflakes. By adding colorful take with an interesting pattern to the outside of the bags, you not only ensure the items stay in the bag but it's also stimulating for an infant to look at. These items are wonderful for tummy time or in a highchair for them to get their hands moving.
Reusable food pouches don't have to be used for just that, it can be an activity as well. This is an activity that will keep your child occupied for a while. A great way to develop their fine motor skills. Take some colorful cotton swabs and a squeeze tube and watch them concentrate! A link to the squeeze tube I used is here.
FROG HOP & COUNT
I found these hopping frogs at the dollar store. Your kiddo will have fun trying to make the frogs hop, while building their fine motor skills. Tell them to hop the appropriate number of frogs that correlate with the number on the frog flash cards.
As you can see from the photos above, all of our activities are nicely organized in pencil bags. I like the fact that each activity is in the bag because I can place all of them in binders and file them away into our homeschool cabinet. If I ever need activities to go for a road trip, doctor waiting room, or church, all I do is grab one out and slip it into my bag. If you’re looking at the right time, you might find a really good deal on them because they could get expensive if you pay full price. I found most of our bags during the back to school sale or clearance at Walmart and Target.
If you like these ideas, take a look at my activity boxes page to get some other ideas. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite busy bag is.
Happy homeschooling and remember to “willfully serve His children” throughout your own homeschool day.
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