How do I balance antsy hands with my desire to include read-alouds and educational videos in our school days? I do not require my children (or myself) to sit completely still and just listen. I provide a wide variety of quiet activities that can be done during read-alouds or educational videos for my children. In our homeschool, busy hands help my energetic boys to focus on a book or video. Busy hands help my daughter and I to be productive and multi-task during our school days.
My teenage daughter usually knits during our read-alouds and educational videos. With the warmer weather, she has taken a break from knitting, but over the winter she knitted a multitude of beautiful hats for Christmas presents. I am usually the one reading the read-aloud book but if we're watching an educational video, I usually keep my hands busy with cutting. Yes, cutting. We lapbook regularly so I usually have mini-books that can be prepared ahead of time.
My boys, on the other hand, engage in a wide range of quiet activities during read-alouds and educational videos.
Modeling with Sculpey III clay
My middle son, Mason, is passionate about modeling with clay. Because he spends time every single day modeling with clay, I keep a "clay station" set up for him in the living room.Patterning with Perler Beads
Perler beads are fun and relatively inexpensive. After the pattern is created on the pegboard, an adult covers the pattern with the paper included in any Perler bead kit and irons it according to the directions. The beads fuse together and make a small piece of art. Endless patterns can be found on the internet for everything from food to holiday themed pieces to animated characters and video game favorites. Our favorite site for Perler bead patterns is Making Friends.
I highly recommend this incredible kit for keeping little hands busy for long stretches of time. Using the blocks, a child builds a three-dimensional structure using the patterns. Some of the patterns are VERY challenging! Of course, a child can also use the blocks for creative building of their own design as well.