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Get rid of that energyToddlers are active little people, start the day by getting active, take some time and get outdoors, go for a nature walk, walk the dog or just let them run around in they yard. A toddler who is tired will happily sit down to play with her toys or read her books quietly. This also helps the older children to get ready and sit down for some seat work. See the benefits are two fold.
Quality TimeI always find that if I spend some time with my toddler first, that she will be able to occupy herself when I’m ready to work with her older brothers. I let her choose an activity and it may be reading a book, playing a game, or rolling a ball back and forth. Once we’re done and I’m ready to work with the older children, she is more likely to find something to occupy herself with while we are working.
Make the most of nap timeMy toddler still naps in the afternoon, so I know that I will have about an hour and a half of uninterrupted silence. I use this time to work with my younger son because he’s not working independently yet. My older son can work on his math which usually requires a bit more concentration than his other subjects. I save fun science or hands on history projects for after nap time so that my toddler can join in with us.
Teach your toddlerI find that when we are doing school, my toddler wants to join in right there with us sometimes. She wants to do whatever it is that my boys are doing. For this reason, I’ve made her, her own booklet full of coloring pages and phonics pages that my younger son is using as well. She feels like she is included with us and you never know what she is picking up as well during our phonics lessons.
Independent toysI have a special set of toys that are kept on a bookshelf that are at my toddlers level. This allows her to pull out her own activities should she choose to work with them. It’s mostly puzzles, tangram blocks, math manipulatives, and other independent activities that she can do on her own. I also rotate these so that they remain fresh and fun. When something has been put away and then shows up again, it’s like finding a new activity all over again. You can also take a look at some of the toddler activities that we use as well. If you’re looking for more ideas, take a look at Every Parent Can Teach Their Toddler for an awesome resource for parents of toddlers. This is the third post in my series: 5 Days of Teaching Toddlers and Preschoolers Visit the other members of The Schoolhouse Review Crew and see with their 5 day series is about.
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