I'm looking after a 3 year old this fall (AND home schooling our 12 and 14 year olds)and it is a never ending battle to keep her busy while we home school, but it is a battle I am winning. I've spent considerable time over the last 4 weeks - thinking about and gathering items to keep her busy.
I WISH I had done this w/ our youngest;(when she was little)- it has worked so well now, but perhaps I needed to be an experienced mom to do it. AND there weren't the ideas around that there are now. Amazing ideas online.
Anyway, I was surprised at a couple of things I tried that worked and thought I would share them with you.
I have about 50 bags (big ziplock bags) of activities and last weekend, I divided them into days of the week baskets - well, actually 4 baskets. I didn't have room for one more basket, and I left a lot of unused items on the shelf - probably 8 to 10 bags in a basket.
I have found she loves items that are new to her (I have to leave about 10 days inbetween doing activities, so they are new for her again). I should make a chart of all the activities I have, too. We'll see when I have that much time. (I am planning on putting the used activites in a big bin and then to just keep cycling through until I use everything.)
(I'm also taking a couple of little boys to church and they are needing the same kind of activities - just little educational activities to keep them busy and happy - 3 year olds can be very busy.... And littler ones even more busy!