Health + wellbeing

How to keep little hands busy while working at home

- June 21, 2012 2 MIN READ

Working at home with kids is great, though actually getting any work done when you have boisterous toddlers and energetic pre-schoolers around can be a challenge, and sometimes just downright impossible.

So with deadlines to meet, calls to make and not every child willing to nap, how do you manage to get through your work and maintain your sanity in the process? Here are five activities to keep little hands busy so you can get on with working at home.

1. Bubbles

Kids of all ages love blowing and popping bubbles and it can keep them amused for ages. Make their bubble making even more fun by having different sized wands to make bubbles of different shapes and sizes. If your little one has difficulty with blowing bubbles and normally needs your help, consider buying larger wands they can wave with their hands or a bubble machine for completely automated fun.

2. Puzzles, mazes and games

Puzzles, mazes and games are a great way to keep little ones preoccupied while helping to develop their problem solving skills at the same time. Wooden puzzles, large floor puzzles, shape sorters, maze sheets and memory are all great for keeping children entertained. For younger toddlers, stacking cups and stacking rings can be a great alternative.

3. Arts and Crafts

I’m yet to meet a toddler or pre-schooler who doesn’t love doing craft. It can literally keep them amused for hours. The key, however, is choosing crafts they can do independently – without your help – and ones that make little to no mess.

Activities such as ‘paint with water’ books, colouring-in books, sticker books and drawing for younger toddlers, and Play Doh, felt play sets, stamps, collages, cutting and gluing for older toddlers and pre-schoolers are ideal. Just be sure that crayons and markers are washable in case your little artist decides to make a wall their next canvas.

4. Audio books and look-and-finds

Kids love stories and even little ones can enjoy reading their favourite books by themselves with the help of audio books. There are even recordable books available now where they can read along to the sound of your voice. Look-and-find books (like Where’s Wally but for toddlers) are also a fun alternative for little ones who can’t read yet, and they are often based on popular cartoons, characters and movies.

5. Outdoor activities

If the weather permits, set your work up outside and let the kids run off some energy in the backyard. Sprinklers, kiddie pools, sandpits, treasure hunts, balls and other outdoor toys can produce hours of fun.

A word to the wise…

Be prepared that whatever works for you today may not work for you tomorrow. Kids can be fickle little creatures so it pays to have a mixture of different activities on hand in case you need to improvise. Your best bet is to rotate different activities or make a favourite activity different each time to keep their play new and exciting.

What activities keep your children busy while you are working at home?

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