I have shared with you that my boys need things to keep their hands busy while we homeschool.
Some Challenges We Face:
- Nick is very thorough in his work. Luke is often waiting for him to finish so we can move on. This leads to whining and complaining.
- During our read a loud times, they want something to do other than just listen.
- Many times the baby (Matthew,3) comes to the table and wants to work with us which can sometimes be a distraction if he does not have something to do.
- And sometimes Nick and Luke just want a break and want to do something completely different.
These might be some of the same issues you’re experiencing and let me show you some of the resources I have found.
If it works for me it might work for you. I also know some readers are interested in seeing what our day looks like.
Do a Dot Mazes
Each week we learn a new letter. When the twins went to Mother’s Day Out, they did these neat letter mazes and used BINGO type dabbers to mark the letter they were learning. Their teacher often found cool curriculum enrichment ideas from visiting homeschool blogs and browsing ideas on Pinterest, so I knew I could likely find somethings similar if I just searched online.
This method has a name. The BINGO dabbers are called Do a Dots and you can get them on Amazon and Ebay.
I found the Letter Mazes on a preschool blog as a free printables. The author of the site has a maze for every letter of the alphabet and more. Score!
This is an awesome activity to add to our letter learning each week when the boys want to create something and keep their hands busy.
Laminated Place Mats
These laminated place mats from Ink Garden have come in very handy. The boys love to do their work on them and they protect my tablecloth. You can get them for free right now, you just pay for shipping.
They also give a nice writing surface when they are doing their school work and their own space, so to speak.
Used Educational Toys
When Garrett (13) was little I had tons of Discovery Toys. To say TONS is probably an understatement.
Along the way, pieces became broken and lost and over time I wanted to replace them, but being as affordable as possible.
Slowly I rebuilt our collection with used (and now vintage looking) Discovery Toys.
You can find used educational toys on Ebay and Amazon all day long. You can also find some good deals over on Craigslist, Goodwill, thrift stores and at yard sales as well.
Toys like Bright Benders are perfect for fostering imagination and creativity. They are great for using in between curriculum activities.
Many of the Discovery Toys and other educational toys can be tied in with your curriculum as well. These are great to use when we do sorting and patterns, for example, which build math skills.
They are also great toys for the little ones who want to join in the homeschool fun.
I love games and activities that encourage logic, strategy and reasoning.
I was introduced to Tantrix a couple of years ago at our local Teacher Tools store. We have had a set for about three years and Garrett and Anthony used them and now Nick and Luke enjoy them.
You can also purchase them on Amazon.
This is a great game to play to not only build the skills I already stated, but also to just take a break or ease into starting the school day.