Working from home can be hard especially if you are not used to it. Working from home with kids can be harder. Kids require extra attention that impact your work time. With the lockdown and social distancing rules becoming the norm now, working from home will become ever more common. However, with the right set-up working from home with kids is very much possible. Read through the following 10 tips on how to keep kids busy when you work from home.
11. Designate a Kids Play-Area
Designate a specific area of your home that will be a kid play zone. Older kids can be in a playroom or bedroom. Younger kiddos do best in a playpen or pack’n’play so they won’t get into things you don’t want them to have. Fill the play zone with a variety of toys. Puzzles are a great way for them to use critical thinking skills. Books activate a child’s imagination. Little ones may enjoy stacking cups or blocks to keep their hands and minds busy. Just make sure your own workspace is near by so you’re close by if someone needs help.
10. Schedule Playdates
Schedule a playdate. At first thought, this idea seems counterproductive, but kids keep other kids busy. Each child might distract each other by playing together, so you can get some work done. If you have older age children and younger ones, have the older children play with the younger ones. If a child is old enough, have them take younger children outside. You’ll be able to have some peace and quiet to work.
9. Craft Time
Craft time is a nice way to pique any child’s creativity. This can tend to be a messier activity, so be prepared for clean-up duty. Gather paper, crayons, pencils, markers, glue, glitter, yarn, popsicle sticks, and whatever else you can think of that kids like to craft with and then let them create whatever they want. Craft time just might buy you some time.
8. Educational Games
Educational games are a fun way to entertain children and help them learn. Classic games like Scrabble and Scattergories can help with spelling and vocabulary skills. Monopoly is a good game for pracricing subtraction and addition. High Ho Cheerio, Memory, and even Pictionary teach some critical thinking skills for little ones. Nothing beats card games either. Uno, Old Maid, and a deck of regular cards can keep kids occupied for hours. If you have only one child, you can teach them Solitaire or Dominos to play by themselves. Board and card games are technology-free ways to keep kids occupied!
7. Give Your Kids Work
Involve your child/children in your work! Give children small, doable tasks to heljp you out. Children can stack papers, paper clip reports, staple, and organize office supplies. Set up a kid workstation near yours where kids can color, write letters to friends and family, or read a book. When you take a break, check on the “kid workstation” to see if it needs more paper, supplies, or books so children can keep themselves busy. Children will love being involved with you and working right beside you!
6. Screen Time
When children get the chance to have screen time, make sure it counts. The following websites and games are educational, but fun!
Oregon Trail: You can download a free version that is just like the one you may have played as a child. In this game, players travel down the Oregon Trail. Players will have to make the right decisions about supplies, finances, and about the trail to make it to Oregon.
Itzabitza: Children draw a picture, and the program brings it to life. Rocket ships will fly, boats sail, and much more. Itzabitza brings your imagination to life.
PBS Kids: This website has games, cartoons, music, and more that can keep kids occupied for hours.
There are many, many educational websites and games. Try to save them for times when you really need to concentrate without being bothered.
Legos are a toy both boys and girls enjoy. Any age can build houses, design a city, and pretend play with them. There are tons of theme sets. Kids can play superheroes, fairies, police officers, aliens, doctors, and so much more! Legos are made specifically for boys, girls, or gender neutral. Legos are toys pthat come in sets or individual pieces. So drag out your kids lego bins and let them have at it!
4. Test Prep
If you have high-school age children, they may need to do SAT and ACT prep. Websites like www.act.org and http://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat offer free practice questions. There are also many test prep books available online and at bookstores. Have your children invite friends over for a study prep session. The teens can keep themselves occupied with test preparation, and you'll have time to really dig into your work.
3. Sensory Bin
Set up a sensory bin for young children. Fill a bin with dried beans or rice. Put spoons, plastic bowls, and different size cups in the bin. Younger kids will love putting their fingers in the bin and moving the bins around! They can also pour and fill the cups and bowls, then pour them out. Remember to put the bin next to you while you work, so you can keep your eye on them.
2. A Cardboard Box
It can be as simple as giving your kids a big box to play with. Kid's imaginations can turn a box into a race car, rocket ship, or house. Kids can color the box or decorate it. It can even be turned sideways to make a special cubby for naptime. Let your child's creativity do the work so you can do yours.
When all else fails, turn on a movie for any kids in your home. There are many documentaries that are entertaining, but also teach some very powerful lessons. Most are found on Netflix or Amazon. Here are just a few quality titles.
Free Solo: This documentary takes a look at climber, Alex Hannold, and his the peaks of Yosemite National Park.
A Lego Brickumentary: This film tells the skills that are needed to work at lego, and the history behind the company.
The Other Kids: The film tells the story of the Hope’s and dreams of a young football player from Uganda.
About the Author
Susanna is a writer from Wisconsin. She loves to spend time in the outdoors, read, do craft projects, and play with her kids.
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