Tag: learning styles

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud

Welcome to Week 2 of our Read-Aloud series!

Here’s what you can expect–links will be added as posts are published:

Our oldest daughter is a snuggle bug. Her two love languages are physical touch and quality time, so needless to say, she’s always loved curling up on the couch for a good read-aloud session.

On the other hand, our younger daughter is a tactile/kinesthetic learner. Her body is constantly in motion, and she resists sitting still for a story. She slides down off the couch and plays with anything she can find within reach.

I used to let it bother me. I used to correct her: force her to sit next to me and look at the pictures as I read aloud.

But that’s not who she is–she’s an auditory learner, and she hears every word I say–whether I think she’s paying attention or not. I often find her later, sitting on the couch alone, rereading the book and looking at the pictures at the pace that suits her.

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud | quiet activities for kids

I’ve learned to be okay with our differences. Now we dance for 10-15 minutes every morning before read-aloud time, and I don’t mind at all if she chooses to play quietly during the story.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.)

Most of the time she brings out her favorite bristle blocks, school bus, and wooden people. When I’m done reading, I hear her acting out the story I just read with her little characters.

As parents, it’s important for us to determine if our children are deliberately disobeying us or if they simply cannot do what we are asking of them.

We also should ask, “Does this really matter to me?” After thinking about it, I realized that I would rather have a quiet, happy child listening to the story than have her grow up despising our read-aloud times because I made her sit on the couch with me.

If you decide to provide your child with quiet activities during read-aloud times, keep in mind that there is no “magic” product or activity. I’ll share some of our favorite ideas, but honestly — the BEST activity is the one that works for you and your child.

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud:

  1. Bristle blocks (we have these)
  2. Puzzle
  3. Wooden people (we have these, in addition to the set with the school bus found here)
  4. Foam blocks (look at the dollar store)
  5. Pipe cleaners
  6. Water beads (we have these)
  7. Modeling clay
  8. Geoboard (we have these)
  9. Paper and crayons
  10. Quiet sensory items, like pom poms, cut straw pieces, etc. Children love to sort, count, fill, and dump little items —celebrate their contentment and read a chapter or two!  

If you have any additional suggestions, I would love for you to leave them in the comments!

10 Ways to Keep Hands and Minds Busy During Read-Aloud | quiet activities for kids

Preschool at Home: 4 Tips to Get You Started!

Preschool at Home: 4 Tips to Get You Started!

We started homeschooling five years ago right after our second daughter, Kate, was born. Before Kate’s birth, I had been teaching at a local Mother’s Day Out program where our older daughter, Addie, was also enrolled as a student three days a week. The entire time I was pregnant, the PLAN was that I would return to the classroom when Kate turned six weeks old.

As those last few days of my (unpaid) maternity leave ran out, I just knew that there was no way we would be returning. I had glimpsed the simple joy of being home with my girls, learning together through play, and so…we made the choice to start our homeschooling journey.

(Financial sidenote: suffice it to say that preschool teachers are not paid very much. I found a seasonal part-time retail job, working evenings and weekends when my husband could be home with our girls, to make up the difference in our monthly income. About the time Kate turned six months old, I started teaching sign language classes at home and have been self-employed ever since.)

Those first few months, I did everything I could to bring “school” into our home. I created a little area in our home for Addie to do her school work, including a toddler-sized desk and an American flag. I bought curriculum, wrote out daily lesson plans, and scheduled our day into fifteen-minute increments. My teacher gene kicked in immediately, and I *may* have overdone it…just a bit. 😉

Preschool at Home: What I've Learned | child development, family relationships, homeschooling advice, homeschooling for beginners, tot school

When I compare those first few months of homeschooling Addie to our current preK schedule for Kate, it’s clear to see how much I’ve relaxed in the past four years. So many of my friends are now homeschooling their oldest children through preschool, and I find myself sharing the same advice with all of them:

  • Try not to push so hard. Children really do learn through play!
  • Reading aloud to your little ones IS enough! Worry about teaching your children to read after their 5th birthday–if they haven’t picked it up on their own yet.
  • Discover your child’s learning style. Both of my girls are auditory learners, so making educational playlists with recorded poems, favorite songs, important information like our address, phone numbers, etc. has been a great way for them to learn!
  • Enjoy these young years! Spend time outdoors, playing with friends, and answering a million questions. Teaching our children *how* to learn is the best gift we can give!
    Preschool at Home: What I've Learned | child development, family relationships, homeschooling advice, homeschooling for beginners, tot school

Have you done any homeschooling with your preschoolers? Can you think of any advice you’d give to a first-timer?


Grab your FREE Learning at Home Checklist! | child development, family relationships, homeschooling advice, homeschooling for beginners, tot school

Grab your FREE Learning at Home Checklist–10 questions to get you thinking about
tot school, preschool at home, or homeschooling for Kindergarten!