15 Activities to keep your kids busy while you work
Find more ideas to keep your kids busy here!
How to keep your young kids busy when you have a pile of emails to answer and calls to make?
Since pandemic, a lot of companies have given this wonderful opportunity to work from home. In my case, I work partly from office and partly from home. And since my kids are small and one of them goes to Kindergarten just for few hours a day, I usually have them around when I am working at home.
Now, this may not be an ideal situation for a lot of working parents. Keeping kids busy and entertained can be quite challenging. However, with a little bit of planning, you can really make it work!
And the best part is, with the nice weather, you have a lot of possibilities to do outdoor things as well!
In this post, I have listed 15 fun and smart ways to keep your toddler or child busy with indoor and outdoor activities while you work at home.
- These activities have worked out for my kids really well!
- I work on my laptop and I make sure that I stay close to them at all times
- If you have more than 1 child, make sure to keep some extra time to sort the arguments and fights that are likely to occur.
- The activities listed are screen-free, easy to set up and fun!
Activities to keep your kids busy
1. Coloring on the book / paper
My older child Neel (almost 5y) has just started Kindergarten. He is very interested in doing pre-school activities like writing alphabets, numbers and coloring. My little one Nyra (1.5y) likes to imitate her older brother and wants to do whatever he is upto.
Give them books or papers and let them color while you sit next to them and work.
2. Scribbling on blackboard
Hang these blackboard sheets (a gift from my mother from India) and hand some chalks to your kids and let them scribble their heart away. It will keep them busy for a pretty long time.
3. Drawing sheets
If you have a toddler like mine who somehow finds a coloring pen and starts scribbling on the table, place a large sheet of while paper and let them write, draw, paint or even stick stickers on it.
Both my kids love sitting together and drawing on these sheets.
4. Build a fort
When drawing and coloring gets boring, build a fort made out of blankets and pillows. My kids love to sit in there reading books or pretending its a secret hiding place and make up stories (in their own language).
Neel loves to play with playdough. We use different shapes of cookie cutters and plastic knives to add more fun.
I am still not ready to let Nyra play with store bought playdough. Instead, I just make an edible playdough with flour, salt, water and food coloring and let them both play with it.
6. Reading books
Nyra loves books with animals. I have found that letting Neel read to her gives him a “big brother” kind of responsibility and infact he really enjoys it.
When I watch them both sit and read together, it really melts my heart!
7. Cardboard or a wooden box
Give your kids a cardboard or an unused wooden box along with colors, glitters, stickers and paint. If you are worried about all the mess they will make, keep this activity outdoor or put some old newspapers beneath them.
This will keep them busy for a very long time.
8. Puzzles or more puzzles
Neel and I love puzzles. Though I encourage Neel to play independently, I usually end up playing with him (especially when Nyra is taking her nap).
As Nyra is more keen on joining us as well (and end up spoiling the whole thing), I am encouraging her to try this puzzle more which is suitable for kids over 1 year.
9. Listen to songs
Toniebox (a gift from my mother-in-law) has been quite useful for us. We have 3-4 different Tonies with different kinds of music (both in German and English) and our kids love listening to the music (and dance too) while they play with their toys in their room.
10. Wet cloth or towel
Hand a wet piece of cloth or a towel and let them clean their toys, table or chair. Infact, this activity was initiated by my kids. They grabbed some wetwipes from the packet and started cleaning everything on their own.
11. Cutting papers
This activity is for pre-schoolers or older kids. Give them some papers and a kid scissor and let them snip and cut!!
Make it more interesting by outlining different shapes and teach them to cut it precisely according to the shape. It helps the kids to exercise their scissor skills.
12. Play outdoors
When the kids start getting bored indoor, change the location and move outdoor. Whether you have a garden or a huge lawn or just a balcony, a bit of fresh air is always good.
When we have lovely weather outside, I let the kids run around in our garden or play with their toys while I sit on a chair in a corner and carry on with my work.
13. A tub with water and toys
If you have a plastic tub, fill it with water and different kind of toys. This activity will keep them busy while they explore what is inside.
It is a fun activity which I recommend doing it outdoor.
14. Splash activities
This is a perfect activity for a very hot day. Fill water in your inflatable pool and let your kids jump and splash around! Or start your sprinklers and let your kids run around.
15. Drawing on the patio floor
Give them some colorful chalk pieces and let them scribble on the patio floor. Neel loves to trace letters and numbers this way.
If nothing seems to be going right..
There will be days when nothing will go right. Kids are cranky, tired, hungry or are just not in a good mood.
In such cases, try to take sometime out from whatever you are doing and give your full attention to your kids. Whatever issues they have, sort them out first.
And more importantly, ask for help.
I’m fortunate to have my husband work at home with me some days, so we divide our time taking care of our kids and household stuff while we work.
I have more engaging activities listed here along with my tips to make your life easier while you work from home. Do check it out!
These are a few of our kids` favorite activities. Which ones will you try out with your kids? I’d love for you to tell me in the comments.