Taming the Toddler
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Taming the Toddler
The time has come to keep the toddler busy during school. I’ve always had to keep him occupied, of course, but now I’m finding the need for an arsenal of ideas so that school can flow smoothly. Well, as smoothly as school can flow with a toddler in the house.
Here are some of the things I’ve prepared for taming the toddler in my house.
A bookshelf full of books just for him. Board books, hardcovers and softcovers. Almost all of it living literature because there’s no sense in even reading twaddle to a toddler!
A CD player with preschool-friendly CD’s in the schoolroom.
Toddler activity bags and boxes ready to go at a moment’s notice. I’ve stashed them on a high shelf so he doesn’t have access to them. It’s partly to keep the activities fresh and partly to keep him from destroying them!
For the moment, imaginative toys are placed around the room in “centers”, but I’m sure they’ll all be jumbled in one big mess before the first week of the new school year is over with. What sorts of imaginative centers could you put together for a two year old? All kinds!
- Easy dress up – hats, big shoes without heels, big shirts, old Halloween costumes
- A toy barn with lots of animals and tractors (or any Little People set)
- Toy cars with a little “town” to drive through
- A play kitchen with pots, pans and play food
- A wooden train set
- Blocks of any sort – my favorite are foam blocks, wooden blocks and bristle blocks
- A cheap toy electric piano and other simple instruments
Arts and Crafts
Toddler-safe art supplies are at the ready. He doesn’t have free access to these – he gets to help choose the supplies he wants and has to stay at his toddler table in the schoolroom. Some of our supplies include:
lots of paper scraps
Crayola Color Wonder coloring book
You might be surprised that many little ones can handle computer related games and apps! Watch for Wii games or iPod/iPhone apps for toddlers and preschoolers. Some computer-based games, both CD-based and free online, for preschoolers include:
Giggles Computer Funtime Games
I’ll be excited for you to add wonderful ideas to my list! Homeschooling with toddlers is challenging, but I’m not defeated (yet!)
These are great ideas Cindy! Although I don’t have a toddler in the house anymore I do have a 6 year old with special needs who would love some of these activities.
We have a collection of preschool bags as well. There was a group of women this last summer to got together and we each made 20 (If I am remembering correctly) of the same bag. Then we got together a few weeks later and swapped.
Homeschooling with toddlers challenging? That’s an understatment! 😉
Let’s see…I use felt to create felt fun. I made my own felt board out of a scrap plastic of some sort (i got it at a store called “The Scrap Box), but you could use sturdy cardboard. I covered it with black felt and cut out my own shapes. They can create their own pictures with the shapes.
I have also heard of felt games and making felt food. Neither are hard, they just require time. Sometimes that’s the biggest challenge right there!
How about wooden puzzles? Chalk/chalkboard fun? Stringing beads (big beads). Lacing pals (Melissa and Doug). Have him help sort laundry. He can gather all the socks, or the wash cloths, etc. and put them in a pile.
That’s all I have for now. In fact, I need some new ideas, too! 😉 Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for the great ideas! My toddler boy is 3 and it has it suddenly gotten challenging to keep him entertained and the newborn cared for, all while teaching the other 3 :). Please post on the toddler bags when you get a chance. I need all of the help I can get!
Cindy, A toddler is on the loose at our house. She is high need and thinks because she is “2” everyone stops for her. I have a post on my blog about entertaining her while homeschooling. Let me know if it is helpful.
Look under “Entertaining Toddlers While Educating Older Children”
OH, I loved the way you layed out the CM Carnival. A Big Thanks!!
Wonderful, just what I needed to revive my poor mind! Fab ideas and now I just need to implement them, we use boxes that are only out during “school” so they are fresh, but it always good to have some more ideas up your sleeve!
I think you have some of the best teaching ideas of any of the blogs I’ve read. I have a two year old and a three and a half year old, so our school is mostly chaotic play, but I hope they are learning something from what I’m trying to start teaching them. I truly appreciate your ideas. Penny
People often complain of toddlers. They look annoying just because they don’t have anything to do. I am sure that this list of activities would be very helpful to keep them busy and learn.