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5 ways to occupy your toddler while you work

Making work time more productive, even with toddlers at home!

by Genesis  |  5171 views  |  2 comments  |      Rate this now! 

If you're a work at home mom of a toddler or two, you know how hard it can be to keep them busy. I have two of my own and know firsthand the challenge of finding things for little people to do so you can get a little work done! While some moms find that having a mother's helper or even daycare can help, chances are, you're going to be working with your children hanging around at some point.

So just how can you keep those little ones busy on their own (this being the key, since most toddlers want Mommy to play, too)? Let`s take a look:

1.) Let them wash dishes. Fill the sink with about two inches of water, add a little bit of baby shampoo (so it won't sting if they splash it in their eyes), toss in a bunch of plastic dishes and pull up a chair for your tot. It can get messy, but if you strip them down to a diaper and lay a towel under the chair, you'll have minimal cleanup... and it's just water!

2.) Give them a box. Seriously, little kids love boxes. Here's what I do with mine: I give them an empty box, the narrower and longer the better, like a cereal box, and dump a TON of stuff into it. Make sure none of it's chokeable size. Some things to dump in there:

  • Plastic spoons
  • Empty pill bottles
  • Envelopes with a sheet of paper folded inside
  • Crayons
  • An old wallet
  • Old cards, debit, credit, license, etc.
  • Keys
  • Cookie cutters

Basically, anything that they wouldn't find in their toy box works. They'll have a blast taking it all out and then putting it back in. The narrow box makes it more work to reach in and tug stuff out.... so your child will stay busy longer.

3.) Get out the clothing. Hats, gloves and funky shoes are all great for little ones who will do their best to put these things on themselves and take their time doing it. You can toss in a couple of light, gauzy scarves (thrift shops are FULL of these!) for them to drape, swing and toss, too.

4.) Hold a parade. Get out those pots and pans and wooden spoons and let your kids traipse around the house banging away on their makeshift instruments. It's noisy, but with a good set of earphones and some of your favorite music, you'll barely notice!

5.) Create a baby office. Set up a cardboard box as a desk, lay out some papers, pens and give your child that old keyboard you have kicking around in the attic so he or she can work right beside you. I often print out coloring pages so my kids can work on those while I'm writing.

About the Author

Genesis Davies is a work at home mom of two boys under the age of two and runs a blog for WAHMs, At Home Mom.

Read more by Genesis

2 comments so far...

  • Love these suggestions.. I can use a couple already ;-)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lakshmi on 19th June 2009

  • These are great tips! I have 2 under 3 and I thought I'd been pretty creative, but I haven't tried the washing dishes or dressing up... definitely boxes have been my friend. Isn't it amazing how they like "non-toys" better than toys?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 5th February 2009