I like to make sure that my children are able to occupy themselves. It is how I get things done around here and a good life skill for them. With only one at home this year, it has been challenging. She can get really clingy. "Mommy, take a nap with me!" really means come lay with me while I talk your ear off and keep annoyingly touching your face. She is such a tease because a nap sounds awesome! I do enjoy snuggling with her, but I can't do that all day. I keep certain toys on a shelf that only come out once in awhile to help maintain their novelty factor. (She is playing with the dollhouse while I type this post.) Puzzles, Lincoln Logs, play-doh, and other generally messy things fall into this category.
I also like to have a few "busy bags" on hand. It was something that I had to do with my 5yo before she went to school. She would not work on anything educational with me and I was concerned that she was not prepared for school. If I was sneaky and gave her a "special game," she played with it and learned without realizing it.
My 3yo has been working on letters, so I came up with an activity that will grow with her. I got a bag of plastic eggs (I bet most parents have a bajillion of these laying around right now) and put upper and lower case letters on them. Then, I created alphabet cards that have pictures with beginning sounds to match each of the letters. (You can download it HERE.) There are a lot options with these eggs. They can be used to work on colors, matching, letters, patterns, counting, etc.
I think it was a few minutes of prep time well spent because this will keep her busy and learning for much longer!
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