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How to keep 3 year old busy?

Posted by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM
  • 19 Replies
I'm planning to homeschool my 5 year old in the fall (turns 6 in June), but not sure how to keep my LO occupied. He turns 3 in June and is very busy. I'd like to do preschool activities with him. Would it work to do the same subject at the same time, just leveled? Or would that be too distracting?
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by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM
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Replies (1-10):
shamrock_momma
by Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM


Quoting Malley:

I'm planning to homeschool my 5 year old in the fall (turns 6 in June), but not sure how to keep my LO occupied. He turns 3 in June and is very busy. I'd like to do preschool activities with him. Would it work to do the same subject at the same time, just leveled? Or would that be too distracting?

I have a 2.5 y/o to contend with while homeschooling. Not always the easiest thing, but I have found that if he feels included (when he wants to) things tend to flow more smoothly. I don't preschool him per se, but I do fun stuff like have coloring books and tell him to color the fishies blue of the balloons red, etc. He also likes to draw numbers and shapes while my oldest is doing seat work.

When we are doing work at the board (ok, the sliding back door with a dry erase marker) I give Little Bit a small dry erase board and a couple of markers to do school with at the table.

We all read together on the couch, even if the material is beyond his comprehension, I think it still helps him to sit and read with us. I also assign my oldest to read to my youngest. I have found this is a great way to build his reading skills because he's reading easy books that he would normally shy away from because they're "baby books."

And then I have days where I turn on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and put him in front of the tv for 20 minutes to I can actually explain a lesson and get my oldest going. Not my favorite thing to do, but well, he's 2 and even great moms like us can all run out of patience. :)

mem82
by Platinum Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 12:26 PM

I try to include my toddler when I can, and I try to keep *specials* for days when I really need him to leave us alone. Also, somedays, be prepared to wait until Daddy gets home before you can do something. LOL If one of my older children need my help and the toddler just won't leave us alone to concentrate, I will wait until after dinner when Hubby can run interference.

usmom3
by BJ on Feb. 11, 2013 at 1:09 PM
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 I think it is very much possible to do the same subjects with both of them.

kttycat84
by Bonnie on Feb. 11, 2013 at 2:05 PM
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I've just started doing the same subject thing with my younger two and it's made all the difference in the world. Definitely do-able!

energygirl
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 2:21 PM
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I bought some dry erase workbooks (matching letters.....draw line from one object to another....etc etc) and my 3 year old thinks of it as "her workbook" so it works well.  I give her paper and pencils to write if she wants to.  The first few weeks she was excited to do her stuff, but now she usually goes off and plays during school time, or will play with the math manipulative pieces....which I don't mind as long as she is at the table and won't lose them.  For us, kindergarden takes between 45 min and 1 1/2 hour a day.....so she joins us for the reading time (usually) and the rest of the time isn't that long for her to entertain herself.   (I started kindergarden with my oldest this year...my other two are 3 and almost 5...so will have another starting school in the fall).  Sometimes I will let her play on abcya.com (letter recognition, easier stuff) or some games on pbskids.org  but not for the whole school time.  Some days I put in a video (123 count with me sesame street, or learning letters leapfrog dvd) and then it ends up being a learning time for her as well.....I never make her leave the room if she doesn't want to, coloring or playing play dough at the table works too.  I think it would be harder if my school aged child needed a longer time of attention..but really it isn't as time consuming as I expected, so the younger one isn't playing alone all morning or anything....

oahoah
by Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 2:33 PM

My 5 and 3 y/o get along very well-kind of attached at the hip, so to speak! So whatever I plan has to be doubled. If that makes sense. They are both pretty high-energy but my 5 y/o is probably more so.  I have a few craft boxes (plastic shoeboxes with lids) and they have safe things for my 3 y/o to do.  He loves to cut so I have kept catalogs out for him to cut pictures, and there are glue sticks and just construction paper, markers, crayons and a paper hole punch, rubber stamps & washable ink pads. Mostly we do things together, my 8 y/o is a reluctant homeschooler and we are gradually shifting towards unschooling for him but the other 2 love workbooks and writing and real "school-type" stuff.  So I try to have worksheets ready for all 3 boys, I will just make the same copy for each of them and have different stuff for them to do.

You can find a lot of activities or projects for a busy 3 y/o (or whatever age) online, I LOVE Pinterest and have found so many ideas from there. I made my own modified Busy Bags and just have them mostly in shoeboxes.  It might also work to only let him do these special projects when big brother is having school time and needing more of you so he doesn't get tired of the same things.  It takes some planning ahead which I am just getting at now (2 years later after starting with my oldest) but it can definitely be done & in a pleasant way! Good luck & have fun with it.

ballerina.2006
by Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 2:55 PM
Mine is now 4 but this school year we have done a lot of tracing sheets (page protectors or a laminator are perfect helpers!)

I've also had sensory buckets with special toys just for the bucket. I would fill it with rice or beans.
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mamabens
by Miranda on Feb. 11, 2013 at 2:59 PM

You could try it like that. We don't do same subject at the same time(i hae 2 olders), they do whichever one they want & I help. My son is almost 4 & what we've been doing is he has his own 'school drawer', it has a dry erase board, marker, crayons, scissor, wipe off practice board & book(with alphabet & numbers on them) &  books to read. I also print pages daily with things to cut & paste which he loves. I show him what to do & go to the next kid.

 BabyFruit Ticker


Boobah
by Nikki :) on Feb. 11, 2013 at 3:09 PM
I include mine in all the reading, science, art, and hands on projects. We did math or whatever needed my full attention with the older during nap time.
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kirbymom
by Sonja on Feb. 11, 2013 at 4:55 PM

This........

Quoting mamabens:

You could try it like that. We don't do same subject at the same time(i hae 2 olders), they do whichever one they want & I help. My son is almost 4 & what we've been doing is he has his own 'school drawer', it has a dry erase board, marker, crayons, scissor, wipe off practice board & book(with alphabet & numbers on them) &  books to read. I also print pages daily with things to cut & paste which he loves. I show him what to do & go to the next kid.

Plus do some of the samr school work but tailored to his understanding.  :)

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