I forgot to add this to the post about busywork: sometimes we make up our own worksheets. Crayons' favourite kind is one that I make on the computer, but it could just as easily be done with a pen or a marker--it just looks more "official" when it's printed out. I open up a file, set the page to landscape (turn it sideways), and make a table four blocks across and two down. (In other words, I divide the page into eight blocks.) At the top of each block, I type something for her to read and draw. Today's eight blocks were:
a big Christmas tree
a nice cup of tea
3 men with hats
a cat in a hat
2 candy canes
a little red star
lots of winter snow
a new little baby.
Crayons decided she did not like "3 men with hats" so we crossed out "men" and printed in "ladies." She worked on that while I helped Ponytails with her table work...then Ponytails did a copy of the same page too, just for fun.
We've also done these as a French reading activity. They can be really simple like "two red circles" and "a big black square", but I usually throw in a couple of silly ones for fun.
These sheets have a side benefit as a reading activity...we usually end up sticking them to the kitchen wall to show off the drawings, which gives Crayons extra opportunities to see and practice the words in the boxes. She likes looking at her artwork and I often hear her reading them again to herself. Painless practice!