7 Ways To Keep Your Preschooler Busy While You Work From Home
More parents are working from home than ever before. Balancing kids and a job can be tricky. Some children still have full-time daycare, but many parents have opted to keep their young ones at home during part of their workweek.
It is important that you can have uninterrupted time to complete your employment requirements. Screen time is an easy answer to entertain preschoolers, but it might not be the healthiest option. Here are seven ideas to keep children happy and entertained while you focus on your work projects.
1. Keep Track of Your Time
First, divide the day into smaller parts. Set a kitchen timer for your preschooler and let them know that when the buzzer goes off, you can give them your full attention. During that small break, get them a snack or help them change to their next activity. You can use a time clock app to keep track of your working hours and breaks. That way, you can take the time you need to help your child throughout the day and still know that you are being honest with your employer.
2. Create a Blanket Fort
Do you remember the magic of building your own hut under the kitchen table or next to the family room couch? Your child will love it as much as you did! All it takes is their imagination, some light-weight blankets sheets and a few sheets. With some luck, they may create the perfect place for their afternoon nap.
3. Get a New Gadget
Having a new tool will keep your young ones busy and happy. For example, a magnifying glass or a new flashlight can be entertaining and educational. Give them a few suggestions to get them started and they will soon come up with their own ideas. Put together a basket of locks and keys, zippers, or clothespins. Let them try a yardstick or measuring tape — fascinating.
4. Do Daily and Weekly Chores
While you are working, why can't they? Children feel a sense of accomplishment when they can help around the house. Make a simple chore chart with images that helps them know their assignments. Preschoolers can help put away silverware, make their own bed, pick up their toys and even pull weeds. Give them a list of ten chores and let them choose the three or four they want to do this week. Next week, the list can rotate until they are competent in several areas. Involving them in the process will increase their confidence. As they check off their daily and weekly chores, they can be working toward a reward. They might choose playtime in the park, a special treat, or a few coins.
5. Build a Castle
Purchasing toys like Legos, wooden blocks, magnetic building tiles or Lincoln Logs are worth every penny. Most children enjoy creating homes, office buildings, castles and airports. Help them look through a magazine or online for ideas of what they would like to create next.
6. Assemble a Craft Box
Get an empty shipping box or basket and gather some basic items: paper, safe scissors, crayons, pipe cleaners, tape, glue stick and even old magazines. Your kids can get involved in creating crafts for every season. Think about how much fun they can have making their own ornaments and holiday decorations.
7. Go Hunting
Send your child on a quest to find things around the house, such as items that are red. They can draw a picture of each object, take a photo, or gather them in a basket. It will take time for your preschooler to gather the red things they find, and then they can put them all back away. You can also create a treasure hunt by making a map with clues they can understand. Or even better, have them create a treasure hunt and map.
It really is possible to work from home and enjoy being a parent. Every day won't be perfect but keep trying — you can do it!