15 Creative Ways to Keep Your Child Busy
It’s tough to raise a family, maintain a home, cook dinner and blog! Sure the ideal circumstance would be that all the little ones nap at the same time, for three hours, and you can leisurely write your post while sipping a cup of tea. But that is not real life.
Realistically, you only have 15 minutes of free time during the day for yourself and those precious minutes are spent in the shower or in the bathroom alone.
So how do you blog while the kids are awake?
First of all, Love Them Intensely
- First you have to fill their love meters. Before you can sit down to blog and expect them to entertain themselves you’ll need to make sure your little ones do not feel neglected. Spend quality time with your kids being truly engaged with them. Hug them, kiss them, roll around on the carpet or play outside. Give them undivided, intense attention so they get their ‘mommy fill’.
Then, bring in the creative ways to entertain them…
Age Group: All
- Go for a walk
- Voice record your post on your phone or keep a planner handy and jot down your ideas. So when you have 15 minutes at your computer, you can write quickly and transfer your voice recording into words on your laptop.
- Include your children in your every day activity and chores
- Have your toddler help you pack the plastic utensils and plates into the dishwasher; let them help you sort the laundry or sweep the kitchen floor. Including your children in your everyday activities not only teaches them new skills, but allows you to spend more quality time with them to prevent the mommy guilt that comes from working at home.
- Teach your child independent play
- Have a safe environment so you are not constantly worried that something will break and you’re not repeating ‘no’ every 2 minutes.
- Provide open ended toys to encourage their imagination to take over.
- Fantastic toy choices for self directed play are blocks, balls of different sizes and textures, tupperware, or jars with lids that can be screwed on and off.
- Provide fewer toys. Your child can easily become overwhelmed by a floor full of toys. Minimalism works both for adults and children!
- Play with your child for a few minutes, and when they become busy with their toys, slowly step away. This will teach them that they can use their imagination to keep themselves entertained.
- Turn up the Tunes
- Put on some music to break the silence in the home and improve everyone’s mood. I absolutely adore the Elizabeth Mitchell Pandora channel. The choice of children’s songs are fun for the little ones and enjoyable for me.
- “Music helps decrease anxiety in the elderly, new mothers, and children too.” – How music affects your mood.
- Activity DVDs
- Invest in a few fun activity or dancing DVDs for kids. Even though it’s TV (which I try to avoid too much of), it’s active, educational and fun. And it will tire out your toddler so they are ready for an afternoon nap!
- Call in the Backups (literally)
- Skype or Facetime with the grandparents as they read your child their favorite book. It not only gives you some time to blog, but also allows the grandparents to see their grandchild and have fun. Win win for everyone!
Age Group: Nursing Babies
- Carrier Sling to breastfeed a nursing baby
- Use one of many amazing carriers to nurse your baby and have them nap on your chest while you blog. For the first three months a baby is most content being close to mommy and there are numerous benefits to carrying your baby.
- I loved the Ergo Baby Carrier and later as my baby grew into a toddler, the Tula Toddler Carrier.
Age Group: 8 months – 3 years
- Mystery Boxes
- Keep a few mystery shoe boxes filled with exciting toys in a closet. Rotate them frequently and take out only one at a time. Let your little one unpack the toys and discover what is inside the box.
- Play-doh or Painting
- Little kids love to create things and let their hands become messy. To prevent the play-doh and paint from getting into the carpet or on the walls, put your little one in a high chair as they play next to you while you blog at the kitchen table.
- In a Box
- Let your toddler play inside an open box and give them free reign with markers or paint. They will enjoy being creative while you maintain a clean home.
Age Group: 3 years +
- Hour Glass or Visual Timer
- For older children, have an hour glass or put a timer on your phone. Tell your child that for the next 30 minutes, or until the hour glass runs out, you need some ‘mommy time.’ It gives them a visual of how much longer they need to occupy themselves. And if you stick to your word and play with them as soon as the timer is up (don’t tell them “just 5 more minutes”), they will respect you and more easily follow your rules next time.
- Science Experiment
- Place baking soda in the bottom of a muffin tin and let your toddler use a dropper to drop vinegar onto it. Dye the vinegar with food coloring for even more fun! The interaction between the baking soda and vinegar will keep your toddler entertained so you can finish that post outline!
- Etsy Time
- Let your little one (3+ years) thread beads onto a string and create necklaces, bracelets and rings. If they’re great you can even sell them on Etsy! 🙂
- Learn to Sew
- Punch holes in a paper plate and have your child thread a string through the holes. This teaches them great hand eye coordination and patience too! Thank you Lis for the tip!
- Puzzles are a great way to keep your child occupied while teaching them valuable skills. And they come in all kinds of age ranges to perfectly suit your child. I’m a big fan of Melissa & Doug toys, they’re always great quality and last a long time!
- Bath Time
- Why not have an extended bath time and allow your toddler to soak and play? Add some bubbles to make it extra special. There is no shame in sitting on the loo and writing a post, or jotting down ideas for your next article as they splash and play. (Of course, do not leave your child unattended)
If Nothing Works
And when all fails, have a ‘you date’. Ask hubby to take care of the kids for one night of the week so you can spend two hours at Starbucks working on your blog. Trusting him with the kids will build his confidence and give you uninterrupted time to make your blog successful! These 10 time management tips for mom blogger will help too!
Also, please practice safe child proofing techniques when leaving your little one unattended. Make sure the area is free of sharp objects, open staircases, or anything else that could potentially be dangerous for little ones!
Please Comment & Share
Let me know what you do to entertain your little ones while you crank out the next viral post!