I think if there was one topic that parent’s are interested in it would be how to keep the kids busy while working from home?
Is that even possible?
There are plenty of people and articles that will tell you it is possible, myself included. However, and this is a big however, it depends on the age of your kids, how many kids you have, and the type of work you are doing.
I started working from home when my youngest kids were 2, 3, and 5.
Was it hard? YES. Was it possible? YES.
Some people recommend putting your kids in daycare or having a sitter come in, and that is a wonderful concept- and absolutely necessary if you are working a traditional job from home with set hours (aka consecutive hours in a row with no breaks and no time to get up and attend to the kids if need be), if you can afford to do so or have the help to do so. If you cannot, working from home with children under foot is still possible, but it will look different for each family.
I have heard others say they:
- Get up earlier and work before the kids wake up
- Work during nap time
- work after the kids go to bed
You can also choose to set your kids up with a child friendly activity and work in the same room or adjoining room to where they are, so you can still see and hear them should they need assistance.
Some of my favorite ideas are:
- Playdoh- my kids would often sit for hours playing at the table with playdoh- this was not a daily activity and would hold their attention
- building with legos or blocks
- playing with a sibling with toys
- watch a movie
- doing an easy and simple craft
- give your kids markers, stickers and a big box they can decorate and use their imagination in
- build a tent (that won’t fall down) and let the kids play in it
- teach them to play an easy age appropriate game (if they are a little older) that they can play together with no fighting
- have them read (or look at pictures) in a book (if they enjoy doing this!)
- make them a fun to do list out of pictures that they can cross off as they do items on the list (gets them to clean or do chores!)
- make them a scavenger hunt that is simple enough for them to understand on their own
- make them a busy board or busy book (pinterest yo)
- give them stickers and paper (and instructions that stickers belong on paper only and not the table or walls- haha)
- give them a dry paintbrush and let them “Paint” the walls
- Give them a dry or damp cloth and let them clean the walls
- give them a small whiteboard and dry erase markers (and a sock or paper towel)- my youngest received one of these after finishing preschool and it was one of the very best things that she had/has
For me, these things worked because I use a laptop and worked in the same room my kids were in. I work 2-3 hour blocks at a time, but can and do get up in between if a need arises. And I did have some help when I had a prearranged client call scheduled.
If your kids are highly energetic and at the age and stage where they get into everything and cannot do activities, then I would recommend evaluating your situation. No matter what, you have to do what is best for you and your family.