How to Entertain Your Kids When Working From Home!
1) Prepare lunches like always…
Remember pre-COVID when you would pack your kids lunches for school and send them off on their way, those were the days.
To make your life simpler, keep that routine up even now when they’re stuck at home.
Trying to decide what to make for lunch with kids at home can be a huge time suck in the middle of your work day.
If you have lunches already made, they can grab it out of the fridge and eat at the table without disturbing you or with minimal assistance needed.
2) Have easy crafts set up in ready-to-go bags for when kids are bored
Again, a little preparation ahead of time is going to save you a lot of trouble in the middle of a work day.
I divide up small crafts based on the age of my kids, into ziplock or reusable bags. Each one is a small craft and all of the tools they need to complete it.
For example, a colouring book with some stickers and crayons or a bag of lego with a few example items to build. The idea again is that they are able to complete the craft without asking you during the work day to go and get everything or what they should do with it, etc.
3) Schedule some undivided attention breaks, even if they are short!
Try to schedule in or allow for small breaks where you can devote undivided attention to your kids. Even if it is just 15 minutes once in the morning and once in the afternoon, it will give you a quick mental break from your work but also help to recenter your kids.
It gives you a chance to see how they are handling the day, if they need something extra planned out or if they just need some emotional attention from you to allow you to keep working for the rest of the day.
4) Take your office on the road, if you can work in your backyard/at the park/etc.
With the winter climates approaching in some parts of the country, this one is going to get a little more difficult.
When possible, take your office outdoors to either a playground or the backyard depending on how much supervision your children need at their age.
If your work is portable enough that you can work from a cell phone or work from a laptop using the wifi in the backyard then do that for a little while.
It gives your kids a change of scenery and buys you a little more time where they are entertained without you having to suggest an activity!
5) Sensory bins for the younger age group, can be a mix of anything and provide hours of entertainment.
Sensory bins are a great tool for entertainment and education. The best part is that they are very easy to set up.
There are no rules when it comes to what goes into a sensory bin so be creative! Some ideas I’ve used in the past are rice, playdough, snow, ice cubes & water, paint, etc. Add in various child-safe tools or kitchen utensils, little figurines, paintbrushes, dolls, etc. Kids will get very creative with these kinds of setups when allowed to play the way they want.
*Warning* Stay close by and be able to supervise younger children around any small parts that are a part of the setup.
6) Prepare snack and drink stations so kids can access easily.
Have a drawer or shelf that is at your child’s eye level filled with pre-assembled, easy to grab snacks.
I pre-portion snack cups and have their filled water bottle ready to go so that when they are hungry and want a snack they can grab it on their own!
For example, with older kids, have a bowl of fruit/veggies out and for younger kids have pre-sliced fruit in bags/cups on a low shelf in the fridge.
7) Screen Time - no judgment!
This last one is probably the one we have all been struggling with as parents. No matter how you may have felt about screen time pre-pandemic, circumstances have changed and you are now expected to be able to work from home while taking care of your kids.
It’s inevitable that screen time will become part of your day to keep your child entertained. This doesn’t mean you have to hand them the remote for the whole day and let them run wild on YouTube. I’ve been trying to make sure when my daughter gets screen time, that it is a more educational type show, that I can ask her questions about what is going on every now and then.
After the screen time, I try to fit in that undivided attention break I was talking about so that you get some non-screen interaction with them to break them out of the zone. Ipads are another great way to provide screen time that is meaningful.
There are so many great kid-friendly apps out there now that can reinforce learning through colours, numbers, educational games, etc. You can also have them sit at the table with you while you work, and ask them about what they are doing on the iPad occasionally to keep up communication!
Guest Blogger Spotlight (@thetestingcrib)
A warm welcome to Ashley - a fellow Mama that shares baby gear reviews, mom tips, and everyday life topics! Keep reading for 7 tips on how to keep your little ones busy while working from home! Visit her website for guides to the best & newest baby products here!