Parenting is a full-time job and you may often find yourself busy looking after your children and tending to their needs. However, many times, there are unavoidable things that need to be done such as household chores, attending to an important phone call, checking email, filling forms and completing some paperwork, attending to a guest, stepping out of your home for something urgent, etc. Sometimes, you may be just looking for a break to give some quality time to yourself. The best way to deal with such situations without the guilt of ‘not being there for your kids’ is to keep your kids occupied with something that they might enjoy in a safe manner. Here are some cool ways to keep your kids occupied when you need to get stuff done.
If your kid likes to read books, it would be the easiest and safest way to keep them occupied. You can plan ahead and buy some books of their choice. Books with educational content would be a good choice or the ones that teach key values to children. Books with plenty of photos appeal more to children and these will keep them engrossed for longer. Reading books has shown to improve memory, language and comprehension skills among children, so that will be a bonus. You can also opt for audio books to keep your kid occupied.
Games & Toys:
Most kids love games and toys, so these are sure to get their attention and keep them engaged. Options may include card games, board games, puzzles and brainteasers, construction toys, toy trains, kids’ costumes and accessories, doll houses, musical toys, etc. These games and toys will stimulate your child’s brain and boost their creativity and thinking. Educational games and toys are also a good way to keep your kids occupied when you need to get things done.
Fun in the backyard:
If you have a fenced backyard and live in a peaceful neighborhood, you can let your kids have some fun under the open sky. They can play some games or you can give them some garden toys to do their own gardening. Outdoor activities have shown to improve general well-being and your kids will also be getting the essential Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. However, make sure that there are no dangerous tools or materials in the backyard, which can potentially get your kids into trouble.
Food or snacks:
This works great when you need 30-40 minutes, more or less, to get something done. Make sure that everything is kept on the table, so that your kid does not have to call you again for something. When children are hungry, they are likely to focus on their food and stay calm and quite for some time. Give them something they like the most, and they will surely not disturb you for a while.
DIY projects or craft ideas:
These can be used to keep your kids occupied for longer, may be up to a couple of hours or so. Your kid may require assistance initially, but after you guide them and explain the techniques and methods, they are likely to take it from there. Give them a proper target, so that they can look forward to achieving it and do not get bored in between. Choose projects that do not require the use of sharp objects like scissors, pins, etc. If the project requires the use of sharp tools, finish those specific components when you are around with your kid.
You can invite one of your kid’s friends from the school or from the neighborhood for a play date. Children who share similar interests such as reading books, spending time outdoors, craft projects, etc. would be the most appropriate for play dates. When your kid has the right company, they are less likely to disturb you when you are busy working on something important or unavoidable. Kid swap is another option you can try to get some time to do important things.
Drawing and painting:
Many kids love drawing and painting and this may be a good option to keep your kid occupied. You will have to arrange all the stuff that they might need such as drawing paper or drawing books, coloring pencils/crayons /water color, and some stationary to draw lines, curves, and circles. You can ask them to recreate something or let them create something of their own. Drawing and painting activities will contribute significantly towards enhancing their mental faculties.
You may be well aware of your kid’s nap patterns. If you plan ahead, you can use this time to do some important work. This is one of the safest ways, wherein you need not worry about your kid and still be able to get stuff done. However, this time would be only suitable for home-based tasks. Going out when your kid is napping is not recommended, since there are a lot many things that can happen in your absence, even if it is only for a short period of time.
First, it was the television then PCs and now mobile devices. Kids just love the screen and this could be a good opportunity to get things done. If you are using the internet, make sure parental controls are on so that your kid does not accidentally watch something inappropriate when you are not around to guide them. You can choose some content that’s purely entertainment and some that offer educational learning. Computer or mobile games can also be used to keep your kid occupied.
Some kids are better at understanding the needs of others. If you have noticed something similar in your kid, you can ask them to help you out rather than trying to get away from them. Even seemingly unruly kids can be trained if you make them believe that they are doing something useful to help you out. Asking your kid to help you out may imply that they actually help you out in some minor tasks or they learn not to disturb you till you get the required stuff done.