As a mommy of four, I often find myself pulled in so many different directions. It is rare when only one child is calling my name at a time. School time can be very busy, as one is waiting for me to check her grammar, while the other needs help with math, my son needs me to listen to him read, and the other has breezed through her spelling and is waiting for her next assignment. AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHH! It is difficult for the younger ones to sit still and wait. They start to fidget, then talk, then they are sliding off their chairs, and the next thing I know chaos has broken out! We need something to occupy our children while we are busy.

Waiting for My Turn Jar – I cannot take credit for this idea. A very good friend of mine, and fellow parent of my daughters’ faith club, came up with this brillant idea. She suggested I write down the names of some of our educational games and manipulatives on pieces of paper and put them in an old jar. When my children know I am busy with one of their siblings, they pull an activity from the jar and it keeps them busy until I can get to them. I took it one step further and added other things besides games. I thought it would be nice to add good deeds to the jar. I wrote down things like: spend some time with the Lord in prayer, write a nice note to your sibling, do a quick chore, write a letter to a friend, make a picture for someone who is sick, brush the dog, check the mailbox.

Busy Basket – When you are sitting down to bond with and feed your newborn (or what was my case twin newborns), it never fails that your older child will need your attention at that very moment. Whether you are bottle feeding or breastfeeding, it is difficult to jump up and tend to your older child. During my second and third pregnancies, I started collecting little inexpensive toys, games, trinkets, books, activities, color books from dollar stores and discount stores. I placed them in a basket. At feeding time I pulled out the basket and placed it next to me, and had my older child sit near me so I could watch them. This is a great activity for busy little hands. They can pull items from the basket and enjoy them while you are feeding your little one. Keep the Busy Basket tucked away when you are not feeding. This will keep the activities “new” and exciting to your child and they will always be thrilled and busy!

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