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5 Simple Ways to Occupy Preschoolers


We have "life group" at our house every Thursday night, which means we have 3 preschoolers in the mix (not counting 2 kindergarteners and 2 toddlers).

If you have any preschoolers living at your house, you may have noticed that it can be a challenge to give any project or conversation your focused attention unless the preschoolers have an activity that is keeping them busy.

So, I came up with 5 simple ways to occupy preschoolers.

1. Sorting beans.

I mixed 2 bags of dried beans (1 bag of pintos and 1 bag of black beans) in several bowls. I gave each child a spoon and asked if they could sort the beans into muffin tins using the spoon.

2. Sorting bears (or buttons or shells or whatever you have an assortment of)

You may have a store bought set of these counting bears, but if you don't you can use buttons sorted into cupcake liners or onto paper plates. Let the children decide how they will sort the buttons, whether according to size or shape or color. When they are finished, pile them all back up and ask them to sort them according to a different value (size, shape, or color).

3. Poking pipe cleaners into a strainer

This is super simple, but the children love it! They can poke in both ends, or just one if they choose. After everyone had a turn at this activity, during the Bible reading portion of our group, I gave each child a handful of pipe cleaners and showed them how to twirl each one around one finger to make "caterpillars". They all sat very quietly making their little family of "caterpillars".

4. Water/bubble play

Pull up a couple of chairs, fill up the sink about half way full of water, add a squirt of dish soap, and toss in a few cups. Instant fun!


5. Doll house/wooden train tracks

This works well, as does a wooden train track set, if it has been stored away out of site and only pulled out during special times. My girls will play for nearly an hour with this doll house or the wooden train tracks, if it has been a while since they have seen it.

Would you like to see more of my ideas on occupying preschoolers while homeschooling older children [3]?

And don't miss out on these "5 Simple Ways" posts: