Planning activities to occupy toddlers while homeschooling

My son playing with a pegboard

Morning activities are my attempt to proactively engage toddlers and preschoolers while I am homeschooling the older siblings. I have a closet in my playroom/schoolroom that has bins of toys in them. Each morning I pull out one bin of toys and I try to pull out one table activity. 

This really does help to entertain the younger kids and even the older kids during any periods of time they are waiting. They also can play with anything in the playroom, but new toys always hold their attention longer. Some things we currently have in our bins are kids’ K’NEX, a wooden train set, Marble Run, wooden castle and figures, animals, a farm,  Straws and Connectors.  My youngest doesn’t put things in his mouth anymore, which has given us the chance to use toys with smaller pieces.  

Our table activities are Play-Doh, little sandboxes, craft supplies, sensory bins I made, stacking pegs, watercolors. All of which are engaging for them, but require very little if anything from me. Most recently Titus is really enjoying playing with our Connect 4 Game

The key to using these regularly is making it easy — just grab and open the lid.  If it is any more work than that, I most likely won’t do it. 


If you are just starting to make some bins to rotate, look around your house first, weed out the toys that are always out. Most likely you have everything you need to make it work without having to buy a thing. I have found that we really need far fewer toys than we once had out in the playroom.  

You can also get creative with things around the house.  I filled an empty tissue box with cut-up pieces of an old scarf once.  My toddlers loved it.  

I have every intention of cleaning out my closet that has all our bins tomorrow, so I will make sure to post some pictures when that happens. 


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