How To Keep Kids Entertained While You Work From Home
It’s the holidays and my kids (including my two nephews) are home 24/7. I’m a work-from-home mom and while I love these kids to death, this period used to put me in a near-panic state.
Before I came up with a strategy that works for me, my career as a stay-at-home mom used to suffer as I found I couldn’t watch the kids; keep them entertained, and still successfully run my home businesses.
And yeah, they are a few!
- I have an offline career where I produce custom-made ready-to-wear outfits for women and little girls.
- I manage two blogs; this one right here and a relationship blog for women I recently acquired.
- I also run a YouTube channel, which is at the beginning stage and not yet monetized. I have a lot on my plate and so need the entire 24 hours to keep things going.
I know these are quite a lot and most people wonder how I manage to juggle all still stay consistent.
Here’s one thing that put everything in order and took away the confusion I used to have when I first started working from home:
I work with a calendar.
Every month, I map out how each of my mini careers is going to play out. I allocate days and hours to each; this includes the blog post topics I’m going to be writings as well as the videos I’ll be creating for my channel and this helps me stay on track.
My calendar also includes the time I’ll be spending with the kids. Beyond keeping them entertained, I also try to spend one or two hours with them daily.
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How To Keep Kids Entertained While You Work From Home
Without wasting much time, here are eleven methods that have helped my goals:
1) Get an Early Start
During school period, I’m up and at my “station” by 9 am after the kids have left for school and then I work all through the day till they get back by 2 pm and then much later again for a few hours in the evenings.
However, when school is out, I get up much earlier – by 5 am and put in two to three hours of work. Once they are up, it would be time to don my mom hat as there will be meals to prepare and the little ones would require assistance with bathing.
So, I do this for an hour or two, and then it’s on to the next strategy.
2) Cartoon Time to the Rescue
Cartoons have been saving lives since the time of John The Baptist.
At least they save mine, giving me a few more hours to do some constructive work.
I found some really great cartoons that keep these kids occupied for a few hours. Sometimes, they agree on the same cartoons, which is great, but on times they don’t, I bring out my tab so there are options.
At this time, I move my laptop to the same room, so I can keep an eye on them while working.
3) Alone Play Time
With breakfast out of way and bored with cartoons, these kids are usually eager to let out all that boundless energy they have within.
At this time I ship them all to the kids’ playroom where they can play and run around to their heart’s content.
I leave 13-year-old Abel to supervise their activities and only check on them at intervals.
Nathan (who’s under two) stays with me during this time, though. He’s ever content to keep watching cartoons. That child (bless his soul) is so gentle, he gives absolutely no issues and is contented with even the littlest things.
4) Art and Craft
Then there are times when cartoon doesn’t quite do it and we turn to art instead.
I stumbled on a few art and craft channels on YouTube which the kids love and we all have a fun time bringing to life some of the activities on there. Some of my kids’ favourite craft channels are KIDS Craft, Gpn Arts, and 5-Minutes Crafts Family.
One time, we had fun trying to create a vase using balloons, gum, and a bowl of sand. It wasn’t quite successful as the balloons kept bursting, but the kids had a lot of fun.
5) Have Them Take a Siesta
There are also those times when I have quite a lot on my plate and can’t join the kids much in any activities.
At this time, the option of a siesta works fine. The younger kids have no issue with this and are usually asleep before their heads even hit the pillow.
Abel and Sara (a kid who comes over to my place once a week) never want to sleep, so I just look for a light activity to keep them busy during this time.
6) Let Them Help Out with Chores
If your kids get bored with the usual activities (which happens) you could have them help around the house with chores. You’d just have to make it fun.
What I recommend is turning these activities into games so they become more eager to do it. You could split yourselves into two teams with a timeframe to see who finishes first.
You could attach a prize to this game, so the winning team takes this. The prize could be anything, the idea is just so the winning team has something to look forward to.
7) Trade-Offs with a Trusted Friend
I mentioned earlier that I have a kid, Sara, who comes over once a week. She comes with her little brother, Josh and the duo stays the whole day.
I have an arrangement with a friend who lives close. Her kids come over one day of the week (Tuesdays) giving her ample time to run errands and do whatever else needs to be done.
We trade places on Thursdays when my kids go over to hers, giving me the space to do those activities I can never do with them around.
For want of a better word, I call it a trade-off, but this is more like a play date which the kids look forward too. This arrangement has been on for a while and works just fine.
8) Come Up with a Treasure Hunt
A treasure hunt is a fun game that will keep the kids entertained and busy for a few hours.
You hide a treasure somewhere in the house then post hints all around the house that keep pointing the kids towards the final destination (the treasure). They have to keep completing little tasks that all culminate in the big one (discovering the hidden treasure)
It’s quite an interesting game. Your kids will love it and it might even become their activity of choice over time as it has my kids’.
9) Play Dress Up
So, this is not my original idea (the others exactly aren’t too, but I didn’t have to search to come up with those) I saw it on a website, tried it and the kids loved it.
10) Create a Game Box
A game box is similar to a dress up box, with the difference being the content contained therein. In the game box, you fill it up with items like colouring books, kids’ puzzles, or drawing books crayons, and paints, something they can have fun doing.
11) Let Your Partner Chip In Too
Lastly, I have my partner help out sometimes, although mostly at weekends. He’s occupied during weekdays but is much happy to help out on weekends.
This is his own time to bond with the kids, so it’s a win-win for everyone; the kids are kept entertained, he gets to spend time with them, and I am free to do the few errands or activities I couldn’t complete during the week.
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