Updated: Jan 30, 2022
Over the years I have found that the best way to entertain the younger kids while we homeschool is to give them their own set of age appropriate activities. My youngest is 3 1/2 and lately he has been really enjoying having "jobs" set out for him. With two kids homeschooling and a preschooler to entertain I don't always have a ton of time to set up intricate activities for him, so I have leaned in heavily to easy Montessori learning toys this year.
Here are the toys and games he is using this week. Side note, if you use my Amazon links it helps support our family and helps me to continue to share!
These are so much fun for all of us! I was so impressed by the quality. You can put them out for open play, or get them started by drawing a couple stacks for them to recreate. I have found that he is more likely to engage in an activity if I get him started by drawing an example or making a few stacks first.
This is a new one and is great for letter recognition! He loves fishing the letters out and then matching them all up at the end. Again, I get it started by taking a few out before he begins.
These are an old favorite in our house. Ace has been really into this game lately so I don't even have to get him started. The cards start easy and get harder. You have to match up the "blocks" as shown. It is like a 3D puzzle!
4. Locks & Keys
This is the most affordable entertainment of the whole lot! Preschoolers LOVE things that aren't toys and this simple activity pulls in so many learning opportunities. Color matching, fine motor skills, and life skills are all at play. The best part is the whole set is only $14! Side note: I love collecting thrifted wooden bowls for purposes just like this.
Young kids always surprise me with this game. Letter recognition, spelling and pre-reading all in one. Ace is just starting to learn his letters but can easily find and match them and then recognize the word because of the picture. He uses it independently, but sometimes I sit with him to remind him of letter names and sounds too. There are varying levels of words and he likes to try them all!
We love these easy activities that he has been using for his morning jobs. Remember that when you get a new game or toy it is best to sit with them and play with it first. Slowly introduce the toy or game, how to use it and what to do. I try to only introduce one new item a week (but sometimes I am excited to see him use them and we do more haha). I set out 3 jobs at once and he is in the routine of working on them in the morning while I workout! I change at least one job out daily and repeat his favorites.
Tell me below, what are your favorite toddler/preschool independent activities? I love finding new ones! Also, if you loves these activities please let me know!