Saturday, May 5, 2007

Keep them busy- Pre-K ers, 3-5 year olds

I will try to write about some ideas to keep little hands busy while you need to be busy with something else. Here is one link that has a lot of great ideas!

Toys they love:

  • Your old clothes to dress up in: old or cheap jewelry, Dad's old ties, shoes, scarves, sunglasses, old cell phones or cameras.

  • Office toys- an old mouse, keyboard, spiral notebooks w/ pencils, calculator

  • Books on tape

  • Computer learning games. (Computers are not evil for kids- this will build their mouse & keyboard skills which THEY WILL need in their future jobs.)

  • Magnets- you can make your own if you want.

  • Wading pool (or a hose) w/ sponges, buckets, toy boats, water guns (toy guns are not evil either- I promise)- when you live in south TX, this water play is a must!

  • A way to keep old toys exciting is to rotate them about every 6 months- put 1/3 of the toys in the attic or a closet. When you pull them out in 6 months or a year, the kids will be so excited. It's like getting new toys! But remember when you pull them out, to put up another 1/3 of toys, so you can do it again!

Other activities

  • Squirt shaving cream on a placemat and let them "draw" in it.
  • Limited TV time. (I will write about this in a future post- with a review of different shows.)

  • Beads, cheerios, and pasta (you can color the pasta with food coloring) to string to make necklaces or bracelets.

  • Give them a tape recorder to sing or talk into (for your motor-mouths, lol) or to interview others.

  • A dishpan with rice in it and measuring cups and funnels.

  • Use a tweezer to pick up small beads- this builds fine motor skills, or use tongs for different muscles. Move the objects from one container to another.
That is all I can think of right now. I will try to write about 1-2 yr olds soon!

PS- My mother asked me the other day, "What is the one thing I wish I had done differently as a mother? Do you remember?" "Yes, Mom, you've only mentioned it the last 5 times we've talked. :) You wished you had spent more time playing with us and less time on the house." If you are a task-person (as I am), be careful to not have the same regrets with your kids.

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