Bracelets, Fruit Loops, and Peace and Quiet.

September 24, 2008

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So, you’ve got the perfect day of homeschool planned out.  You jump from child to child, helping them with their work, just staying ahead of the, “Mom, I need help,” cries.  There are moments when it all seems to be working perfectly.

And then, your perfect teaching morning is completely disrupted by your toddler.  When he finds that he doesn’t have your attention, he does his best to get it.  What starts as “Mommy, play with me,” often escalates into tormenting the other kids doing their schoolwork, or the always reliable, flop on the floor, full-blown screaming tantrum.

I love talking to fellow homeschooling parent, because they have such good tips for moments like this.

Here is a favorite:

Edible Bracelets


  • A bowl of any loop cereal:  Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, or Cheerios (though these are a bit small)
  • An assortment of pipe cleaners
  • scissors
  • a bored toddler


  • Measure and cut a pipe cleaner so it will fit around your toddlers wrist, with a little extra for twisting at the end.
  • Bend one end of the pipe cleaner to keep the loops from sliding off the end
  • Show your toddler how to thread the loop cereal onto the pipe cleaner. 
  • When he/she is done, twist it closed around their wrist, and let them eat all the cereal off or save it to show Dad when he gets home.


  • This is a great fine motor practice skill, and it’s just challenging enough for most toddlers that they really have to focus . . . quietly! . . .  to do it right.
  • For the more advanced, you can add some pattern skills by having them alternate colors of loop cereal if you have that kind, or sizes of loops, etc.  For more math skills, have them sort the loops by color, size, or shape, catagories before getting started.
  • Charity:  Suggest they make bracelets for their sibling or friends.  If they get excited to do this, they are learning to share, and it will take them longer = more peace and quiet!
  • Sense of accomplishment:  Make sure to mention that your toddler is ‘doing schoolwork’, or pop out the camera to take a few pictures when the bracelet is finished.  Your toddlers will beam at the idea that they are ‘doing school’ like their older siblings.

Do you have some quick and easy ideas to keep the younger kids happy, busy, and learning during the school day?  Please share them in the comment section.

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