Homeschooling with a New Toddler

My baby is now one years old, officially she is no longer a baby but a toddler. Although she will always be the baby of the family. I have suggestions for keeping your toddler busy, but those don’t work with my baby because she’s one. She still puts everything in her mouth and she has a wonderfully short attention span.

What do you do with a toddler while you are trying to homeschool the older children?

Well all the fun ideas that I usually have don’t apply to her. She’s too young for a lot of the activities that require fine motor skills and objects that she likes to mouth. She doesn’t like to play with toys yet, at least not long enough for me to get any work done.

What can you give your young toddler aged child to play with to keep them occupied during school hours?

  • boxes of all sizes
  • a deck of cards
  • DVD cases
  • a carton or bottle to put small objects into and take out – pom poms or wooden blocks
  • keys
  • workbooks – yes they’re especially fun when your older brother is using them
  • Recyclable items – juice cartons, plastic bottles..
  • pots and pans
  • spatulas, wooden spoons, and measuring cups

These are the items that my princess is obsessed with and will seek out during her day. Forget all the wonderful dolls and toys she got for Christmas, this is what she wants to play with. Forbidden items, things that are not really meant for to be toys.

She can’t be trusted with small items since she still mouths everything so these are items that are safe for her.

Our toddler is almost in the walking phase and loves pulling up onto the couch. She loves to sit beside her brothers while they are reading on the couch. Particularly because the phone is reachable from there. Add that to the list too, the phone.

What does your toddler love to play with?


  1. My daughter would take apart our CD cases. Not a good thing here. :)

  2. I remember that was one of my questions when I was first considering homeschooling.

  3. It has been so long since I’ve had a toddler and when I did have a ‘typical’ toddler I was only homeschooling K,1st and preschool so much easier to deal with than if I had a toddler NOW. I remember “pulling books off shelves” was a favorite activity of two of mine. I can smile now about it, but not back then LOL

  4. Great ideas. I miss the cuteness of Toddlers, but I don’t miss the exhaustion!

  5. I agree with the workbooks. Our toddler wants to do “school” like his brothers, so I take the pages out of the workbooks we don’t like or use (as well as the backsides of any that are half-way worked on) and he seems happy with this. Love the other ideas, too!

  6. Although they are really cool suggestions, I always found that paper plates and crayons make a great art oriented play time that fills hours with minimum planning. My daughter would work on those quietly for ages.

    • She loves crayons but doesn’t draw with them, she throws them around, and then they break and they’ve become more of a hazard really. I’m looking forward to the time where she’ll sit quietly and draw.