Direct your preschoolers’ energy and excitement with pretend play and you’ll buy yourself some peaceful time for homeschooling your older kids. Few things derail focus like an exuberant preschooler, right? I mean, they have endless enthusiasm and curiosity and little to no comprehension of boundaries.
While we want to keep those positive traits burning bright in our little ones, we also need to give our older children the time and attention they deserve. What’s a homeschool parent to do? Get creative and foster your preschoolers’ desire to pretend.
If we take the time to set out little ones up for success, they’ll feel loved and capable of keeping themselves happily occupied. It requires some forethought and effort on our part, but it’ll be rewarded in the long run. Here’s a fun idea that just might work for you.
I loved the idea of making pretend meals out of felt and crafting supplies. Whether it’s breakfast, tacos, or even dessert, your smallest homeschoolers will have a blast pretending to cook and serve food. Meanwhile, you’ve got some (relative) peace and quiet to devote to your older ones. If your preschoolers know that you’ll sit down to a pretend meal when you’re through with their older siblings, they’ll be much more likely to give you some quiet time.
You can even get the older kids involved by having them collaborate with their little brothers and sisters. Have them design and write up a menu of for the family restaurant. (Writing practice and art practice there.) Roll math into the bargain by having any child who’s capable add up your bill at the restaurant, figure out the tip and make change. (If you have play money, this gets even more fun!) All of you can be involved in creating the play food. Let’s face it, brainstorming, cutting and hot-gluing is fun no matter how old you are!
When you take the time to cultivate and direct the excitement and imagination of your youngest kiddos, you take a challenging situation and turn it into learning and relationship building for your whole family. Have fun guys!
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Here are a few more resources to check out to set up some fun pretend play: