One of the hardest parts of having kids of different ages, for me, is entertaining the younger ones while the older ones are still in school. Right now, Simon gets out of school at 12:30 and his siblings don’t get home until at least 4 PM. For most of the hours he is without them, he asks me when we can go get them! I love that they play together, but when Simon is home alone, I need to come up with activities just for him. Oh yeah, he gave up napping this past summer, so having him sleep for most of this time is no longer an option. Here are some of my ideas:
1. Take your preschooler somewhere.
This idea causes me some trouble, because once I take Simon somewhere one day, he wants to go somewhere every day! So I try to limit how many times in one week we go places. Some of my ideas for places I can take Simon include the library, the children’s museum (especially once it moves closer to us!), and the park.
2. Play dates.
Right now I have a system going. Three days per week, my friend has to work later than preschool dismissal, so her son comes home with us. One day per week, I bring another friend’s daughter home with us, and on the 5th day, Simon goes to her house. So Simon has a play date every day, and I even get some extra time to myself while he plays at his friend’s house! So far this is working out well.
3. Extra learning time.
Yes Simon goes to preschool 5 days per week, but there are so many ideas for home learning that I really want to incorporate into the time he is at home. One of these ideas is Reading Eggs, which I first told you about here. Since then, Simon and I have started the program. We are currently learning to recognize the letter “m.” Unfortunately, Simon may be a little young for the program, because he does not yet know how to control a mouse to click on the correct answers himself. Therefore, he sits on my lap and directs me where to click. (EDIT: I totally just realized that Reading Eggs can be used on the iPad! This way Simon will be able to touch the answers rather than click on them with the mouse – we are totally going to try this out next time!) Sometimes he likes to be silly and chooses the wrong answer on purpose. There are a few different rounds of activities for each letter and on some of them he always gets the answer right. I think he actually can recognize the letter “m” and we will soon be ready to move on to the next lesson.
Inside lesson 1 there are a few games and this is game 1. I like that we can go back to it after finishing it, because this one is Simon’s favorite and the one he can always get right! You choose which cupcake has the letter “m” on it.
So far, Simon’s attention for the learning games doesn’t last very long. I like that there are a variety of activities to share with him that all include learning options. I am hoping that with more time and as we progress through the lessons, Simon will gain the skills needed to start to read. You can now get a FREE 5 Week trial to Reading Eggs through this link. No credit card needed!
What kind of things do you do with your preschooler? Especially in the afternoons when others take naps?
Disclosure: I received a free trial of Reading Eggs in exchange for my review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are my own.