How to homeschool with a toddler

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Life is hectic. Especially when you have a toddler in the house! They have the attention span of a butterfly, and the energy to rival that of a small tornado!

This is all wonderful, overall. Not so much when the big kids are trying to ‘do school’!

I get asked quite frequently how I entertain the toddler while we are busy with schoolwork.

The big thing to remember here is that we follow a Charlotte Mason education, meaning the toddler can join in on her level with most activities. She sings with us, does art with us, appreciates paintings with us and loves ‘reading’ when we do. We also include books on her level with poetry teatime, like Winnie the Pooh and the Beatrix Potter series.

I try and schedule writing work (Math, Dictation, and Grammar) for when she’s asleep.

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan, though! She’s in a nap-skipping phase now, so we have to work around it!

So here are my top 10 go-to activities to keep her busy while we work:

  1. Water play: pouring activities, a water table, sprinklers, ‘bathing’ her dolls, ‘washing’ her bike, our car, basically anything, including rocks!
  2. Dirty play: letting her draw on the ground with sticks and decorate it with nature finds, a mud pit, ‘painting’ with mud or drawing with charcoal (from the fire pit!)
  3. Climbing: on the jungle gym, tree trunks, boxes, the couch. She loves obstacle courses! She also enjoys hanging on things. Especially the jungle gym and my legs!
  4. Nature walks: I usually send her to collect nature finds and come show me. She loves showing off seeds, flowers, leaves, bark and bugs.
  5. Books: Her current obsession is animals. So we have a huge selection (that I rotate) of books she can ‘read’ through.
  6. Play dough: She loves cutting out shapes, squishing it and having make-believe tea parties!
  7. Sidewalk Chalk Paint: I paint lines on the pavement for her to walk on (practice balancing). She also likes painting lines on the pavement and dipping rocks in the paint. She also paints herself, so we usually end up with some water play afterward anyway!
  8. Rice: She loves pouring and scooping it into various containers.
  9. Musical instruments: Homemade drums, shakers, and rattles are awesome!
  10. Finger paint: She loves the texture of cooked finger paint. The squishing is very therapeutic, even for adults!

I hope you find some inspiration here!

What do you normally do to keep your little ones busy while the big kids work?

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