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Toddler and Baby Friendly Homeschool Room

This is my second year homeschooling.  My two older boys are in 1st grade and Kindergarten.  Easy peasy.  However, the 2 1/2 year old and crawling 8 month old are a force to be reckoned with.  The spring was a challenge with a newborn and a toddler, but now that the baby MOVES, I have to be as efficient as possible.  This means a tidy, organized, inviting, and baby proofed school room.

Here’s what I came up with.  Tips are in the captions below.  This morning was our first official day and it went pretty smoothly!

Toddler and Baby Friendly Homeschool Room

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Keep DVDs, TV, and DVD player up high. Those dangling cords proved to be a problem for me today. I need to find a taller trashcan to distract my 8 month old. He pulled the plug RIGHT in the middle of our Math U See lesson.

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We use Sonlight and last year I kept my notebooks on a desk and so many pages got ripped out by my then 18 month old. Keep mommy friendly things out of sight to prevent disorganization.

Keep books up high to prevent little ones from ripping pages.  A couch or comfy chair is a MUST if you're nursing a little one!

Keep books up high to prevent little ones from ripping pages. A couch or comfy chair is a MUST if you’re nursing a little one!

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Even though you’d like to keep the littles out so that you can concentrate…DON’T! Include them. Hands-on, non choking manipulatives are great (mine throw them and sometimes it gets nuts, but we’re working on that ;))

Post a clear, easy to understand schedule so that ALL your kiddos, young or old know what's coming.  (And so mommy doesn't forget!  I forgot handwriting for like a month last year!)

Post a clear, easy to understand schedule so that ALL your kiddos, young or old know what’s coming. (And so mommy doesn’t forget! I forgot handwriting for almost a month last year!)

Framed chicken wire hung up high is the perfect place to hang art work with clothespins.  Hanging things too low down will allow your little ones to rip them off the wall....and then eat them.  Hey, it's a rough homeschooling world out there!

Framed chicken wire hung up high is the perfect place to hang art work with clothespins. Hanging things too low down will allow your little ones to rip them off the wall….and then eat them. Hey, it’s a rough homeschooling world out there!

Keep markers, pencils, and big boy crayons up high.  I buy jumbo crayons for my little ones to use and keep them in a place they can access them.

Keep markers, pencils, and big boy crayons up high. I buy jumbo crayons for my little ones to use and keep them in a place they can access them.

If you’re a homeschool blogger and you have a post sharing your school room for this year, please join in and link up.

Click the graphic through to visit iHomeschool Network’s Not Back to School Blog Hop: School Room Week!

Not Back to School Blog Hop 2013

Liz (5 Posts)

Liz was a cheerleader swept off her feet by the football player back in high school. They’ve been married nearly ten years and are the proud parents to four young boys. She’d always envisioned working and sending her kiddos off to school so she could live the ‘normal’ American dream. However, life and the Lord surprised her and she’s learning to ‘redefine having it all’ while being a debt free homeschooling housewife. She enjoys finding strength from God’s word, the Today show, talking on the phone with friends, and being real about finances and parenting.


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Messy {Outdoor} Preschool Activities for Summer

@destinyblogger, @hsbapost

Let’s face it; kids are good at making messes.  It’s part of the fun of being a kid!  For those of you that shudder at the thought of messes, summer can be a good time to cut loose and let the kids be kids — outside where clean up isn’t so much of an issue.  I’ve been scouring Pinterest and my bag of tricks homeschool plans to find new preschool ideas.  If the kids start to get bored of the same old activities this summer, try this list to spice up their playtime (and sneak in some learning and sensory play):

What preschooler doesn’t like bubbles?  I found this cheap and easy recipe for homemade bubbles, complete with a cute container.   Need a bubble wand?  Take several drinking straws and rubber band or tape them all together to make a big bubble pipe.  Dip one end of the straws in the fluid and blow through the other end to get multiple bubbles at once.

My preschool girls love sidewalk chalk, but how about taking it up a notch?  I found these awesome ideas for making your own frozen sidewalk chalk with cornstarch and food coloring.  Simple, fun, and a great sensory experience.

@destinyblogger, @hsbapost

Speaking of sensory ideas, summer is a fun time to try making your own sensory bins.  I blogged about an ocean-themed sensory bin I made that was very budget-friendly and easy to do.  If you take the bins outside, it allows more room for experimenting with messiness.  Use sand, rice, Cheerios, and even water as the medium for the bins.  You can create your own I Spy game by hiding things in the bins for your kids to discover.  Preschool themes can include colors, shapes, numbers, letters, animals, or any other subject your kids might love.

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Call me crazy (or Messy Mama), but we’ve even made our own homemade moon sand.  You can take this outside and use a small sand and water table (you can usually find a small one for about $20 at a discount store) or any other container you choose.  Mix some baby oil with either white flour or cornstarch and experiment with the consistency.  My girls loved this, and believe me, it was plenty of messy fun.

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These are just a few of the fun and messy things you can do with your preschoolers outside this summer.  Remember, play equals learning for little ones!

Sara (25 Posts)

I'm a reader, writer, dreamer, wife, and homeschooling mom of 3 girls. We take a relaxed, eclectic, Charlotte Mason-leaning, Montessori-ish, literature-rich, delight-directed, almost unschooling-at-times approach to learning. Lots of unit studies, field trips, and lapbooks, too. I like to blog about our learning adventures (plus faith and encouragement) at Embracing Destiny.


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Review: ThinkFun’s Roll & Play Toddler Game

How does a kid go from from having the attention span of a distracted gnat to an active game player? Baby steps!

ThinkFun has created Roll & Play, a “my first game” to start your little one out to becoming a regular part of family game night.

Roll the die!

The die in the Roll & Play game is a large plush cube. Each side is a different color. Players roll the die and then draw a card of the same color.

This seems lame to older kids and grownups. But consider what you have to know in order for the die rolling to work.

When the die stops, there are five sides showing and one hidden. You have to know that you’re focus is on the side that is face up. Rolling the big die teaches little ones that the top of the die is the indicator – not one of the sides facing him or her.

Read the card!

Each card has an activity on it. The pictures are sufficient for little ones to know what to do.

When they “read” the card, they get to do the activity. To keep them engaged, you can have them read the cards to the other players.

And then they get to pass the turn to the next person – another important game playing skill.

Play, do, and change the rules at will!

When you play Roll & Play, you’ll be hopping around, dancing, making animal noises, and having a great time. And if you want, you can adjust the rules to fit your little one.

We started out by skipping some of the cards. They just weren’t as engaging as the others. We’ll work around to getting to all of them.

Your turn!

How have you integrated your little ones into game play? Would your toddler do well with ThinkFun’s Roll & Play?

Share your thoughts in the comments and tweet this out!

P.S. I got the Roll & Play game for free on accident. ThinkFun meant to send me another game and accidentally shipped this one. I refused to return it, promising instead to enjoy it and write about it. 

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