I ran around to all the secret spots of forbidden choking hazard toys (you know the ones...Barbie shoes, Bratz pets, marbles, etc), and gathered up ten things. Then, I pulled out a large canning jar, and the popcorn kernels we'd colored last week for our patriotic popcorn, plus some extra plain kernels. I dumped a layer of kernels into the jar...
...added the items...
...then, a few more kernels, and the lid (I left some room in the jar, so the kernels and items could still move around).
Finally, I gave it to the little ones to see what they could see, and went back to the math lesson with the older kids.
By the time the older ones were working independently, the little ones were ready for something new. So, we dumped the kernels into a pan, and replaced the hide and seek items with counting bears.
They played sandbox style, while I supervised to make sure they didn't try to eat the kernels. This was great fun until they realized the dye was not set on the kernels, and was instead coming off on their fingers. Suddenly, the world was coming to end.
We marched off for bath time, while the older children, with math completed, took over, and sorted back out the colors for the next project. A task, I might add, that kept them occupied not only while I washed up the little ones, but also long enough to get some preschool and kindergarten work done - uninterrupted!
It's great to be a homeschooler.