5 Ways to Keep Your Toddler Busy – Preschool Lessons

You walk into your son’s class. It is an image of order. Children sitting in circles listening intently to stories, groups of children leaning over tables and diligently molding playdough, others on the carpet carefully moving cars over mats with marked paths. I don’t get it, how does he do it? I’m so tied up with mine. How does he do with mine and 10 others? This is the simple secret way, try it and you’ll be one step ahead of those little feet.

1. Be prepared: set up a toy that says “play with me.” Whether it’s a train set sitting on a rug with the train about to enter the tunnel, or a lego arranged by colour. Have something ready that your 3-year-old can’t resist. and once he does, don’t distract him, you’ll have a few minutes to fix that lunch box you deserve.

2. Change it up – I come across many parents who say they have a virtual toy store in their house and the kids are still asking for new toys. Preschool teachers frequently play the ‘switch a bin’ game with a neighboring class just to get dinosaurs for the day instead of farm animals. There you have it: new toys at no cost. The next time you have a bored toddler, trade a container with a mom you’re both grateful for.

3. Make it happen: Child development theories exist for a purpose. There is a natural reason why children prefer to play with pots and pans and empty plastic containers than bowling pins. They see the adults around them wearing these items and want to experiment too. Take a page from Reggio Emilia theories and surround your child with the things they use on a daily basis: calculator, fridge magnet, old cell phone, cardboard box, even an old pair of shoes and watch how they keep busy during hours.

4. Follow your interests: today it’s the cars, tomorrow it’s the doctor, keep up with your interests. Talk to them about your latest favorite and maybe even grab picture books from the library to keep it real. A budding reader starts early, those free but carefully chosen library books will give you a grown-up (and smart) toddler.

5. Sign up to blogs and websites: Teachers got the training, but you have the drive. Why should there be chaos at home? After all, it is the same child. Keep it up to date by learning about new activities from teacher resource blogs and websites – there are plenty. Then watch their eyes sparkle as you make neat holiday crafts and make your own playdough.

These are just a few of the ways you can get that order right at home. It takes work and planning like everything else, doesn’t it? But being prepared can take up the time that allows you to get dressed or count down to bedtime. After all, you’ve done your best for the most part. When all else fails, you know you can take a little friend out on a play date and watch their eyes light up.

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