Planning toddler activities is a critical time-saver when working from home with little ones. This can be a great help when you have to meet deadlines, or if you need to work for a period of time without interruptions. Here are 5 activities to keep your toddler occupied while you work:
1. Learning Centers
Create a learning center (anywhere you work) in your home. This will be a place where your toddler can work on various learning activities that you provide. You can put a small desk in this area, or create a fun border of boxes to keep them in that area. Stock the area with crayons, paper, notebooks and coloring books. Include any other tools that they're able to work or play with already, such as pens, pencils or a small calculator. When you assign any of the following activities, let them do it at their learning center. The goal is to keep them occupied in one place, so that you can keep your eye on them, while working.
2. Picture Books
Never underestimate the power of picture books to keep your children occupied. It's great for learning when you read to them, but also, they can engage in imaginative play and learning on their own with books. Some children can go for long stretches just flipping the pages and enjoying the illustrations. You may even catch them naming the letters you've taught them. Try to find thick picture books that include several stories in it. This helps to hold their attention longer.
3. Educational Computer Time
There are many free resources online that provide quality educational toddler activities, such as www.starfalls.com. If you have a second computer with Internet access (with filters, and other ways to prevent ads from popping up), set it up at your child's learning center or right next to your work computer. You can load the website for them and teach them how to do an activity. It takes time at first to teach them how to use the mouse, but they do learn quickly. If you prefer, you can also buy CD-Roms for them to work on offline.
4. Older Sibling Play Time
One of the best toddler activities you can do is have your older children play with your toddler for 20-30 minutes. They will probably figure out fun ways to interact with one another, but if they need help, you can come up with toddler games that both your older and younger children will enjoy. This keeps both children occupied, but more importantly, fosters a bond between the two. If you have more than one older child, you can arrange more play times throughout the day, giving you more time to get work done.
5. Learning DVDs
If you're in a pinch for time, you can also put on a DVD for your toddler to watch. You shouldn't just put on mindless entertainment, though. Invest in DVDs that will teach your toddler how to talk, read and identify common people, places, and things. When you're done with your work, you can follow up and reinforce what they've learned.
Taking care of a toddler while working from home can be challenging, but moms are doing it everyday. The key is to plan toddler activities in advance, and train them to do these activities on their own.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.