This question was recently asked on the AHEA Facebook Page:
Anyone have ideas for learning boxes for an extremely busy 3.5 year old? I have tried some learning box ideas but he's done playing in 10 minutes and isn't interested again.
*I think 3.5 year olds are extremely busy and don't have a great concentration span. My best suggestion is to make a LOT of boxes for him, and to keep using new ones. It's best not to repeat them in under 10 days. When the boxes aren't used often, the kids enjoy them longer. (SORRY) I have a Pinterest Board w/ ideas for 3 - 5 year olds (and really believe the time spent making these IS worthwhile and makes Home Schooling easier.) I planned to have 8 to 10 different activities for each morning of Home Schooling. It does take a while to accumulate these activities - but is achievable and worthwhile.
Home School ideas for Boys - many of the ideas are for young boys. Check that out, too.
Sometimes it is thinking outside the box with what we already have - add an empty gift wrap tube or makeshift ramp for little cars to go down... Fill a shallow tub with water (on a couple of bath towels) and have a *car wash* or a *Duplo wash*. Yes, it is more work. Yes, it can make a mess BUT your little ones will love the time and attention. There are TONS of easy learning activities on both the links above. Many are quick and easy to make. I had /have a bookshelf for the best of those activities. OH, and the longer you use them, the more he will learn to *do* them for a set period of time. Put not so fun activities in between fun activities and say this is the next activity - try it for 5 minutes. I am always watching for fun activities to buy, too (on the garage sale Facebook page for our area). Just bought magnetic Fun Faces.
The thing is you must find his interests. My first son was very smart, very busy and nothing calmed him down. Absolutely nothing. I bought him Jumpstart Fractions cause it was on sale. This was intended for use way in the future .....perhaps 11 years old (he was only 4 at the time). He saw it and begged me to put in in the computer. I did. He used this game for two years. I never, ever had a problem with him sitting still again. Listen to your son, you probably know what his interests are. Take those interests and be creative yourself. My second son -it was a car mat and dinky cars, the legos. Btw, those busy kids are usually quite gifted:)
Thanks for the help! I made a large pile of learning "bags" and put them into one big plastic tub. He's been digging through them everyday and picking out something to do. I even found him coloring on his own for quite a long period of time. Before this week, he wasn't interested in colouring for extended periods of time.
*I have a nephew who is 3 and in a Montessori preschool and daycare. He, too,ÂÂ is a busy boy. His favorite activity is "shelf work" checking out some Montessori sites might give you some more ideas. I think having a rebounder is a good idea for all kids to burn off some energy. I got one at a garage sale with my 12 year old in mind.