At the risk of sounding politically incorrect, boys are a completely different breed of folk than girls. I think that is no-more obvious to me than during the school day. Now, I'm not saying one gender is better or worse than another, they are just...different. And require different strategies to teach...to train...and even to occupy.
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During a "down" moment of the school day, my Sweetie Pea is content to curl up on her bed with a good book. While I know many boys who would choose this past-time, as well, I know many more who would not. Boys are by design, more active and require a certain level of DOING in the day. Most of my boys lean towards large-motor skill activities that require expansive outdoor spaces. Unfortunately, the frigid temperatures we have been experiencing lately, do not permit DAILY outside play.
While I never mind indoor imaginative play with this or that toy, it is always nice to see CONSTRUCTIVE action vs...well, the opposite! Over the years, I've been fortunate to come across a handful of homeschool-friendly toys to occupy my boys during school day "down" time. Here's my current TOP 5 list...
Excavation KitsA few weeks ago, we were snowed in at a hotel a few towns away. It just so happened that prior to the snowfall we had picked up a new Rock & Crystal Excavation Kit that we were hoping to save for a rainy day. Turns out, it was perfect for a SNOWY one. My two oldest boys camped out in the hotel bathroom for most of the day uncovering a handful of gems and rocks. (What they couldn't finish was packed up and brought back to be excavated on my kitchen floor...as you can see here.) What makes rock or dinosaur excavation kits so helpful is that unlike many science-themed kits, they don't require any parental set-up or involvement.
Building SetsI think Legos are probably a no-brainer for most mothers of boys. But, in addition, its nice to have a few OTHER building essentials at the ready. Bristle blocks, Tinker Toys, K'nex and classic wooden blocksare just four of our favorites.
Are you a mother of boys? What are your GO TO toys to occupy during those "down-time" moments of the day?