We have a preschool cabinet in our home filled with great puzzles, magnet games, felt books, lacing cards, "string the beads" games, pegboards, matching games, etc.. Most of it is specifically designed for the 2-6 year old age range. We use these items to entertain the littles when we are doing formal learning.
Here are a few pictures of the cabinet closed and opened.
This was a hutch in my Meme's home when I was a little girl. I painted it, changed the hardware and love the way it turned out. I still need to get the rest of the hardware on. On the other hand, it keeps the littles from getting things when they aren't allowed, so, maybe I will wait...haha.
We call the time the littles are playing with these things "rug time".
"Rug time" has become one of my greatest discoveries! Now, I will be honest...it takes tons of work and training with the littles. But, in my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the difficulties.
Here is how I do it.
1. I start when they are babies by giving them a time (or several times) every day when they play in the playpen. It can be 20-30 minutes but it is important to train them to sit still and focus on something.
2. As soon as they outgrow their morning nap, in our home, they spend 30 minutes in the playpen with just one of the preschool items from the cabinet. This helps them to keep the things together (unless you have a thrower...haha).
3. After they are about 2 or 2 1/2 I move them to a small rug or mat and allow them to choose one item for the 30 minute period of time. I usually do "training" on a summer or Christmas holiday so that I can focus exclusively on it.
It has really revolutionized the homeschool experience for us.
What do you do to entertain preschoolers in your home?
This will be my last "Large Family Organization" posts for a while as I am going to focus on cheap summer fun for the next few weeks.