When you’re homeschooling older kids, there are moments when your toddler just…well…you wouldn’t want to say “gets in the way.” That sounds so negative. But when there are tiny hands tugging at your leg, or a tiny whining voice complaining about something every three seconds, it’s very difficult to get anything accomplished—not to mention distracting for the older kids, too. You have to do something to keep your toddler engaged long enough to finish a lesson—but what on earth are you going to do that will keep them entertained long enough to do anything when you haven’t prepared it ahead of time?
This is one activity that you can put together with just a couple of minutes and very minimal materials.
Gather up your materials: a tub or box; a little bit of soap (dish soap makes the best bubbles) and a few toy cars. Tell your child that they get to take their cars to the car wash! Then, place the materials in the floor in a room that’s not carpeted (any time you let your child play with water, it has the potential to make a big mess) and let them get to it! If you want more bubbles than water, you can always dump out some of the water and keep the bubbles as you go; or, use plenty of dish soap, which makes big mountains of bubbles.
The toddler verdict: loads of fun! This bought about thirty minutes’ worth of playtime. As always, it tends to buy more time if they have someone to play with them; but you’re not trying to fill the day, you’re trying to keep them busy long enough to get a lesson in.
As with all toddler activities, the more often you do it, the less it’s going to hold their attention—“new” and “novel” do a much better job of that.
The big kid verdict: “Mom! Why don’t we get to play?!”