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How to keep 3 year old busy?
by Malley
February 11, 2013 at 11:48 AM
I'm planning to homeschool my 5 year old in the fall (turns 6 in June), but not sure how to keep my LO occupied. He turns 3 in June and is very busy. I'd like to do preschool activities with him. Would it work to do the same subject at the same time, just leveled? Or would that be too distracting?


  • motheroffour186
    February 11, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Yes, do both my youngest two was working with my oldest two children since the we six months hearing their abcs counting colors, shapes

    I just did preschool with them as well. We watch a lot of leap frog. We just did mostly activities. Runing and jumping finding colors shapes numbers reading a lot to them. Instead of the younger writing we looked at     or reading at that.​home.html​qt/schedule03.htm​dailyschedule.htm​multiple-age-groups.html​different-aged...​curricula-for-home...  


  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    February 11, 2013 at 7:47 PM

     hi malley!!

    i school a 5 yr old and a 3 yr old now, i sit them at a table and have one on each side of me, i have a couple workbooks/coloring books/line drawing books plus markers for the 3 yr old and the usual stuff for the 5 yr old, so while im doing something with the 5 yr old the 3 yr old is busy (usually) doing his coloring or line drawing, and im also teaching him to wait until im done with his sister till i can help him out. it works good for us, and hes hearing what im teaching his sister as we go along

  • tnovak
    by tnovak
    February 11, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    busy bags, pinterest it

  • womanwifemomof3
    February 11, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    I babysit 2 other preschool age children.  So the three of them play make believe games and build with blocks or legos and I can work with my older one.  More kids is easier for me because they play longer when they have a playmate.  The 2 preschoolers will also play playdough a long time and then I can work with the older child.  Watercolors worked today to keep them busy and quiet.  Or I play the Letter Factory or Word Factory DVD for the preschoolers so I have some time with the older one.  She's seen those DVDs many times and won't be tempted to leave her school work to watch it with them because she's bored with it.  I rotate toys to keep things interesting. 

    My favorites to keep them busy are legos, zoobs, lincoln logs, k'nex, stringing beads, large tupperware container of rice and many small scoops, sorting activities, puzzles, hole puncher, stapler, scissors, masking tape objects together,  a ball of yarn for webbing things in the room or to practice tying lots of knots.  The most used toy around here are an oversized container of basic wooden blocks.  I change what's mixed in the blocks.  ex. plastic animals and tell them to build homes for the animals or zoos.  Then I remove all the animals the next week and put in match box cars and say build garages, the following week I put in pieces of blue material and tell them its water and to build boats or bridges, add popsicle sticks to the blocks and see what happens, tape words on the blocks such as store names or other signs to see what gets built, add dolls and ask for beds and chairs to be made,  build things and take photos, knock down blocks and challenge them to rebuild from the pictures, etc.

  • coala
    by coala
    February 11, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    I had a box that I kept in my office so my LO would hang out with me while her sister needed to work independently.  She had books, counters and math flash cards, she had dry erase markers with folders that had workbooks torn apart and put into clear protective sheets (re-usable this way), she had sight word flash cards.  I would rotate her books and flash cards for her weekly.  When she would get bored she would go play in her bedroom.  Our livingroom is off limits until the last child is finished for the day.  She also had scissors and crayons and coloring books.  She LOVES to cut, so I would give her anything that I needed to have shreded so that I wouldn't have to use the "noisy" shredder.  This worked so well for her.  BTW she also had a K4 curric that we purchased in March last year and she was finished with it by the end of June.  She loves to learn.  She is now using a K curric and is 4 1/2.

  • MaraJade27
    February 11, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Even at 3, my son has his "subjects". I picked him up a kit of "Hooked on Phonics" pre-k and he LOVES it. He also has specific coloring books just for home school and math manipulatives. He loves to play with the math cubes I have and pretend to add and subtract. I have a 16yo, 9yo and 7yo I have to teach at the same time and DS3 will do history and science with us, even though it's a bit above him. He loves to be included. If he's fussy he can go down for a nap, go play by himself, or watch a little netflix while his brothers work.

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    February 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM

     a shoe box taped up good with a prize in it!!!

  • KrissyKC
    February 12, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    My 4 year old sits and listens to books on tape with the bigger kids (older books than her attention span can handle) and I give her a quiet box, some puzzles, playdoh, etc... to keep her hands busy and quiet while she listens.   Same with anytime we are doing group reading or something.

    She is learning that if she is disruptive, she is taken directly to her room, no questions asked... she can come back, when she is not disruptive or loud.   However, we also have breaks in between to play outside together, do something hands-on, etc.. etc..

  • KrissyKC
    February 12, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    oh, and when she absolutely thinks she can't sit still.. I do have preschool educational games on the computer...  I'm thinking about signing her up for for kindy starting this summer.   Then I'll do phonics with as she's ready and everything else can just be "fitting in" with the big kids.

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