Here are four fresh idea for parents with little ones at home. These ideas may be new to you, or ideas you have used before and need to dust-off and use again. I know it can be difficult when you are homeschooling with little ones, or have a large family. It's important to find ways to keep your sanity and make the family run smoothly. Spend a few moments reading about how to make life easier for you!
1. Make Fresh Playdough
The first plan might be to make fresh playdough today, to keep those little hands busy now! In my family, fresh playdough was always my ticket to instant peace at home.
Homemade Playdough recipe Or a Gluten-free playdough recipe option.
2. Create Busy Boxes
While they are occupied, spend some time creating busy boxes - it will be worth it! Make at least 5 boxes, so they have one each day of the week. If possible, make more, so you can spread out those activities even farther. The less frequent the activity, the more fun and special it is for the child. Busy boxes can be collected in plastic shoeboxes, old cardboard boxes, or even paper bags. By rotating them, you are providing a new-to-them experience that will give you about 30 minutes of sanity-saving time for older children or for yourself.
Ideas for Busy Boxes
25 Low Prep Busy Boxes or Busy Bags Activities
Quiet Time Boxes
12 Fun Busy Bag Ideas
DIY Quiet Time Busy Boxes
8 Busy Box Ideas
Why I Use Busy Boxes for My Toddler and Baby
DIY Naptime Boxes
Busy Box Organization
3. Create Older-Younger Sibling Partnerships
Pair your younger children with an older sibling to play. You can be proactive, and give ideas for an activity they can play together (like suggesting Legos, or Hot Wheels) or you can treat this as a 1/2 hour of free babysitting, where the older child is simply responsible for the younger one. You can be specific about the time, say 10:00-10:30 each morning, older Suzie is responsible for younger Sammy. It might be a good idea to encourage "recess" where the two can go outside for fresh air for a while, hunting bugs, riding bikes, or picking flowers. Going outside together is great for sibling bonding, but it also can help children learn more when they have been outside and active for a while! This partnership might be for just 1/2 hour a day, but every half-hour of peace is worth the price of admission.
4. Read More Tips
If you are struggling with little ones today, or trying to homeschool a large family, or just trying to figure out a schedule that works for you, it might be a good time to read this book! “Managers of Their Homes” by Teri Maxwell.
Does it Work? Yes!
Homeschool Mom Elisabeth was struggling to homeschool her older children, and tried it for herself. Here's what she had to say.
I got started on the busy boxes! I only have 5 so far, but that's better than nothing:
2. watercolor painting
3. cutting / stickers
4. play dough
5. flowers building set
The Lego Busy Bin got us through grammar with my 11-year-old!!!