The weather in our little section of the world has changed to the colder and we are now doing nearly all our schoolwork inside. While this has it’s advantages – namely all our school materials are in the space we are working in – there are a ton of disadvantages for keeping my youngest bunch happy while we work. Sidewalk chalk, stroller rides and the tricycle are now reserved for only the most beautiful of mornings. Thankfully, do to Thanksgiving, November has less than 20 school days.

Many, if not all, of these activities can be independent for your preschooler and should only need to be slightly hands on and monitored for your older toddler. They have definitely, through the years, allowed me to focus most of my attention on one of the older brothers.

So without any further ado, here is November’s list

1. Make a Leaf Maze – If you’re so lucky as to be able to get outside, make a leaf maze by raking a path through some leaves. Toddlers and preschoolers alike love to try to find their way down the path and will repeat the process time and time again.

2. Foam Shapes – Using craft foam, like the package found here, cut several medium and large shapes like rectangles, triangles, circles, squares and other irregular shapes. Show your younger children how to use these shapes to create pictures. Mine particularly like to make a picture and then have me take a picture of them with their creation before they start over.

3. Paper Bag Turkeys – Paper bags, feathers and glue can make some hilarious and fun decorations. They are also nearly guaranteed to buy you quite a bit of time to focus on your other children.

4. Rolling Squashes and Gourds – Balls are always a big hit with the younger group. Why not allow them to explore how something else rolls? Squashes and gourds are quite durable and the roll in some very unique ways. One of my children spent nearly an hour just trying to roll a gourd down our hallway without hitting the baseboards.

5. Acorns – Place a large number of acorns in a container and use it as a sensory bin. Add spoons, funnels, tweezers, toy trucks, etc. to increase the fun. If you don’t live in an area with a lot of acorns, you could substitute this for cranberries or another smallish item.

6. Feather Texturizing – Cut out some feathers out of construction paper and allow your preschooler or toddler to snip at the edges to make them look a bit more like feathers and give them additional texture. This is great fine motor practice and what little one doesn’t love to use scissors?

7. Feather Sort – Buy a bag of feathers (natural or fun colors it doesn’t matter) and give your child a 6 count muffin tin or the print the mat included in our October Toddler and Preschool Activity Pack and allow them to sort the feathers into as many of the cups as they like. Ask them to tell you why certain feathers went into certain spaces. Make it more of a challenge by adding tweezers.

8. Color Matching Turkeys – Match the colored feathers to the appropriate turkey. Click here to get this FREE printable,

There you go. Eight ways to help your littlest crew keep happy and busy this November. No matter how you choose to occupy your littlest ones, remember keep smart. Keep it simple.