On Instagram I recently shared one of our favorite hacks to keep my toddler and preschooler busy during school time, and got lots of questions about it. We keep a “school box” full of special activities and educational toys that only come out during school time, and my little ones love it! While it may not keep them completely happy and occupied 100% of the time (anyone have a trick for that??), it’s pretty darn helpful. Here are some ideas of what to keep in your school box (and remember, the trick is to keep it up and out of reach except for when you’re working on school with older kids!)
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We love these babies! All of us do! But they are particularly helpful with my little ones who can easily build creatively with them for long periods of time. I recently discovered a brand called Tytan Tiles that are great quality and a fantastic price! I loved them so much that the company offered to give my followers a 30% discount on their products through August 20, 2020 with discount code “fearlessmom1”. Go snag them while they’re hot!
My kids absolutely love to play with kinetic sand, and I love how is sticks to itself, making cleanup super simple. Pull out the cookie cutters and measuring cups and you’ll have mini-sandcastles in the making in no time.
Even my one-year-old loves to watercolor. I like to put just a small amount of water in a shallow bowl to avoid spills, and let them paint their hearts out. Fat paint brushes make it even more manageable for little fingers.
My four-year-old loves to use this learning tablet along with the coordinating set of books. The books have symbols and highlighted letters that coordinate with the buttons on the tablet, so they can push them as they see them and hear the letter sounds, form words, etc. We like to do this one together, but he’s starting to get the hang of it himself. I love that it’s a screen-free option that still has the appeal of technology.
We go through so much playdough that I always buy this mega-pack. Don’t forget the cookie cutters, mini-rolling pins, and plastic knives. My kiddos can create with this for hours. We also have a homemade playdough recipe we love that I’ll share soon, but sometimes with all the real life happening, it’s easier just to order it and have it delivered to my door.
Color Sorting Bears
This is the cutest sorting set that my two little ones are always excited to see! They play with it both “as directed” and super creatively. It’s helpful for their young brains to learn about categories, colors, counting, practice fine motor skills, work on matching, etc. It comes with a storage container and bag too, which helps keep all the small pieces together. You’ll love this one!
Preschool Robotics Kit
We absolutely LOVE this STEM set designed for preschoolers. It has a darling story book that gives instructions on how to build each of the robots featured in the story. My little guy likes to give these his best shot, but this particular activity is best completed when I assign an older sibling to work with him. Even so, it’s great at keeping his attention, and he adores all the robots he builds.
I also love to scan the Target Dollar Spot for flashcard sets, magnets, felt activity packs, etc, and now is the perfect time, with back-to-school happening. Grab a box or bin and fill it up! You littles will feel so special during school time!