I am often asked the question, “What do you do with Isaiah while you’re working with Samuel?” I’m very fortunate that Isaiah LOVES school. He is the one that is always asking for more work and he loves to learn new things. It doesn’t always stick as quickly for him as it does with Samuel so he doesn’t get bored as quickly, which is nice. He has also grown fond of worksheets which makes things much easier AND he enjoys writing which is Samuel’s LEAST favorite thing to do. I also work hard to adapt my lesson plans to meet both kids learning levels and styles. They do the same things for History, Science and Geography, Samuel just does more in those areas through reading and computer activities.
It’s hard to not just snuggle this little cutie all day!
With that said there are still times when I have to work individually with Samuel on an activity and Isaiah flies through his work. To solve this problem I spent a night at the Dollar Store and another night preparing a basket full of activities. I got most of the ideas from this blog post: http://www.growingajeweledrose.com/2012/05/100-things-you-can-purchase-from-dollar.html which is one of the best things I ever came across on Pinterest!
I mean he’s seriously cute, isn’t he?
You’ve seen some of these in other blog posts, but I wanted to include everything in our “Waiting For Mommy” basket. This has ended the, “mommy, mommy, mommy MOMMY!” when I’m busy working with the other child.
This one is pretty handsome too!
A few things I didn’t take pictures of:
The random craft box - We made them at MOPS and they are wonderful. It has all kinds of craft products in it, but they love the tape and pipe cleaners the most.
Muffin Tins – They use them for all sorts of creative things.
Puzzles – We have 2 bins full and they use them a lot! Gran-Gran often send them ones she’s made out of pictures and those are extra special.
Nuts & Bolts – Matching and putting them together.
Lacing Wooden Lacing Beads – Great for patterning and lacing.
Playdough - They have lots of playdough toys, but even pipe cleaners and googly eyes are fun to make monsters!
Toys that don’t live in the schoolroom, but often end up there – Puzzibits, Magformers, Geomags, Magnatiles and various LeapFrog magnet games. Do you see a theme here? My boys LOVE magnet things.
Flashcards of all kinds. Isaiah loves sequencing.
Puppet Shows are always fun!
We have two boxes of dress up clothes and they get used a lot!
Both the boys loves pattern blocks.
Mini books and magazines. These are perfect when they are about to have a meltdown. They can take a little book to the carpet and calmly reset their buttons.
Pipe cleaners and magnets. We take both of these in the car and to restaurants also. They love taking magnets when we get oil changes and the tires rotated.
Magnet board activities. I try to make these for each theme.
Buckets are so fun to fill and empty and fill again. They love trick-or-treating year round!
How fun are these bug swatters?
Letter tiles to sort and spell. These are paper, but Scrabble pieces are great also. I put them in a bag with sight words and let him build words.
Dry erase boards are awesome! I keep dry erase markers in his box and he has several different boards to choose from.
Fun shaped, folded paper that is blank for them to create on. I have a clear shoe organizer on the closet door jam-packed with all the craft supplies.
The shape game. I cut these out of foam and have a song that goes with them. Then they get to build things out of the shapes.
I have cards with different words in a bag. They have to draw their answer to each word based on this question, “If happiness was a picture, what would it look like?” I add different words occasionally.
Writing and illustrating their own book. This is Isaiah’s version of Good Night Moon.
I wrote letters on construction paper squares and put them on upside down foam plates. The boys use a toothpick to poke holes through and leave the letter in dots on the plate.
Samuel likes more intricate patterns.
After they have their dots, they take a needle and yarn and sew it.
Which is also lots of fun! especially when it’s wacky Wednesday and you can come dressed as a super hero!
Isaiah had to learn patience for this one!
I cut several squares of each color paper. He has to sort them in piles and then put a paper clip on. This is harder than you think for those cute little fingers!
Marbles, beans & colored pasta are all good for learning volume and estimation.
Scooping rocks into different sized containers.
Of course the temptation is to pick it up and pour it, but this is great for teaching patience and being careful.
They make their own calendar pieces now.
Using tweezers to pick up pom poms and sort in an ice tray.
Isaiah felt great satisfaction in this activity.
Making kookey hats out of colander and pipe cleaners and then running after each other yelling, “BUGS!” with an over sized fly swatter.
The only thing that makes connecting blocks ever better…
Is being able to add gears and make a bead run. (like a marble run)
How many pom poms can you fit in a spice jar using tweezers?
Role playing. My boys LOVE this! They set up a trauma center for their “guys” the day after Isaiah had to go to the emergency room. I put a bag together with bandages and things I had already. I used some old dress shirts to make them Dr. coats and same plastic name tag holders for their official nametags.
I even found some little syringes and a cheap doctor kit at the Dollar Store.
Poor Brown Bear hurt his leg. Not to worry! Doc McSamuel is on the case!
Teaching following direction by letting them make their own lunch. This is actually a good lesson for me too.
Isaiah’s letter notebook. I have a big envelope of random items he can pick through and put on the correct page of his alphabet book.
Stamps!! Easy, inexpensive and fun!
Stampers to make cool pictures.
Beads and sorting container. My boys LOVE to sort things.
Samuel loves to play with money. He likes to sort it, count it and memorize what’s on it.
Pipe cleaners in a jar. Use different powered magnets on the outside to see how many you can lift.
Then compare the power through plastic and glass.
Flannel board, always a favorite.
I love when I can coordinate them with books.
This is an awesome book! It has magnetic letter and picture tiles, and the pages are dry erase. Wonderful multi-use book!
That is what is currently in our “Waiting for Mommy” basket. There’s really so little time that we need these extra activities anymore because I’ve balanced their lessons a little better. Isaiah doesn’t make it quite as long as Samuel in the afternoon so I do more one on one instruction with Samuel then. Of course it does mean there is no break for me during the day right now, but this too shall pass…