I was inspired last week by a vlog on Rachael Carman’s blog, HisSunflower.com, where she showed how she kept her younger children busy when she needed to spend time teaching her older students. She kept preschool busy boxes with special items in them centered around a general theme that the younger children could only get out when she needed them to be busy.
It got me thinking about the many resources I have upstairs in our game room/school room and in the office, where I keep our curriculum and tools. So many great things on the shelves, but much of it doesn’t get put to its best use because it isn’t presented in an interesting fashion.
So I decided to try this idea of creating boxes of interesting themed toys, crafts, and manipulatives. While Rachael used cute DIY cardboard boxes, I had some extra clear tubs that I decided to put to use.
For now I prepared four boxes:
- An “alphabet” or phonics box
- A number/counting box
- A shape and automobile box (my bet for favorite)
- A farm animal box
Each box had a video, books, puzzle(s), craft or art, manipulatives, and maybe a game. Here are some pictures of what I was able to produce this afternoon. I didn’t label my boxes because I plan to change the themes occasionally. Keep in mind these are created for my almost 3-year-old son.
I have used the busy boxes at least four times this week: Twice when my 4-year-old niece Cadence was also here. The kids had a hard time settling down at first, but they liked the watercolors and cars in the ones they did do. The other two times he used the boxes with me, and we had a good time. Some of the items required adult interaction, but then I could leave him with the rest. He can use the puzzles, color pages, and toys on his own.
I think the preschool busy boxes will be good to have for when my son is restless and needs something to focus on. He gets destructive when he doesn’t have something to do, so I am hoping these busy boxes will help with that. They were helpful this week, and I hope that continues!
For more homeschool tips and ideas, check out this week’s What’s Working Wednesday homeschool blog link-up!
Do you have young children to keep busy while you’re homeschooling older siblings? How do you manage working with different ages and stages in your family? What tips or tools have worked for you? Share your ideas or questions about this topic in the comments section below!