how to keep little ones occupied during homeschool day

Activities to Keep Little Ones Occupied During the Homeschool Day

How do I keep my little ones entertained while I homeschool the older children? This is one of the questions I hear most from homeschooling families with a mix of younger and older children.

I’ve been keeping little ones busy during our homeschool days for many years now and am happy to share what we’ve done to keep those little ones busy during the homeschool days.

how to keep little ones occupied during homeschool day

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Activities to Keep Little Ones Occupied During the Homeschool Day

Water Wow Books

Easily one of our favorite activities – no set-up required (besides filling the pen with water) and absolutely no mess. They come in a variety of designs so you can have a few on hand and rotate them about. They’re also educational, which is an added benefit. See all the fun Water Wow books available here.


If your little ones are past the put-everything-in-their-mouth stage, playdough is something that will keep them busy for hours. We started playing with playdough when the children were less than one but only with very close supervision because they still enjoyed tasting it. Add in some figurines, popsicle sticks, or cookie cutters, and you have a very fun activity for the little ones. Get our SUPER easy, no-cook playdough you can make in a KitchenAid stand mixer here.

You can also print out some fun printables to use with playdough, such as our adventures outside bundle.

Stickers and Paper

Another super easy activity to set up but will keep those little ones busy while they quietly work on their fine motor skills. You can purchase themed sticker books or simply buy a few sheets of cute stickers (or colorful hole reinforcements) and invite your child to place the stickers on their sheet of paper. If they have a hard time peeling the stickers off, peel the surrounding sticky piece off to make it easier for your child to remove each sticker.


We love books and they’re a great way to entertain the little ones while you homeschool the older ones. We’ve included some of our favorite books (as well as some we’d like to try) here.

Duplo Blocks

Another favorite in our home! There are so many fun sets to choose from and will certainly give your child hours of creative play. One of our favorite sets has been the ice cream set but this one looks like it would be a fun one to add too!

Wood Blocks

We love blocks and all the creative possibilities they hold. From the traditional wood alphabet block set to rainbow blocks (the pictures online don’t do these gems justice – they look absolutely AMAZING on a sunny windowsill), they have gotten a lot of play from our children and are the perfect way to keep those little ones busy during the homeschool day. This is the same set we purchased nearly a decade ago and they are wonderful – made in the USA, absolutely gorgeous, and quality through and through.


If your little one is a little older and you’re feeling brave – this open-ended gluing activity is sure to be a hit! Our tip is to put it all on a tray for better containment and to keep the mess down. See how we put our gluing invitation to play together here. Or, download one of our many free printables and set the sheets out with some gems or buttons for your child to create with.

Stacking Cups or Laundry Baskets.

This might sound silly but Miss 1 absolutely loves stacking our small laundry baskets and I’m guessing if I bought a set of inexpensive plastic cups, she would happily stack and unstack those as well.


Snacktime is a great time to work on school while the little ones are in their seats munching on carrot sticks or apple slices. Prep the snacks the night before so they’re ready when you need them. 🙂 If you have older children, they might even be able to help you slice cucumbers – this is the tool we like to use – it makes the slices that much more fun to eat!


We love incorporating puzzles into our homeschool days – from peg puzzles to pattern puzzles and see and spell puzzles – these are some of our favorite things!

What would you add to the list? Let us know in the comment section below?

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9 thoughts on “Our Top Picks: Activities to Keep Little Ones Occupied During the Homeschool Day”

  1. Alexandra David

    It seems like there are never enough ideas to keep a toddler busy. Son no. 3 just turned 18 months and I’m already wondering what will work to keep him busy while I homeschool his four older siblings. Thanks for the ideas!

  2. Thank you so much for these ideas! We are planning to start homeschool in a couple weeks, and have a 2-yr-Old to keep busy!

  3. This would be such a blessing! I have a friend who is homeschooling 5 kids and just adopted her sisters 4 kids! She is goin to have quite the struggle with buying school supplies and it would be such a blessing to help her out!

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