How to distract your kids while you work

How to distract your kids while you work: 16 tips to keep the littles busy so you can actually get stuff done! Read how at the blog: I’ve been working since I was in my teens, with a short break while I was in college. When I had my first baby, I still had to continue all my normal duties, except with a newborn! I now have three small children, and still have zero childcare. 

So in the past five plus years, I have learned to get creative! I constantly need to keep my kids occupied, not just while I’m working, but also when I’m doing general housekeeping and cleaning stuff. Here are some ideas I have for keeping my kids out of my hair. 

1. Put on some kid’s music and let them dance. 

Veggie Tales, anyone? I can’t endure this every day, but it works once in a while. 

2. When it’s warm, let them play in the yard. 

I work almost entirely from my cell phone, so it’s easy to transplant myself outdoors. 

How to distract your kids while you work: 16 tips to keep the littles busy so you can actually get stuff done! Read how at the blog: 3. Set up blanket forts and box mazes. 

Also use toy tents and collapsible tunnels!

4. Put them in the feeding chair with a water bottle with a mister. 

This works on my autistic son very well. This product is genius. 

5. Set them in a reading nook with some books

Of course, this depends on your child’s personality. My oldest and youngest love this. 

6. Play doh!

7. Kinetic sand!

8. Coloring or simple cut and paste activities

9. Relocate them to a different room. 

My kids get bored in the same spot all the time. Alternate rooms and be sure to mix in snack time and craft time

How to distract your kids while you work: 16 tips to keep the littles busy so you can actually get stuff done! Read how at the blog: 10. DIY water table

11. Give your toddler a sorting activity or something similar.

12. Give them an extended bath and work in or near the bathroom. 

13. With your older kids, encourage pretend play. 

14. If they’re old enough, let them try to wash the plastic dishes

My daughter is five and it takes her like thirty minutes to wash like six dishes, but she likes it and it keeps her busy!

How to distract your kids while you work: 16 tips to keep the littles busy so you can actually get stuff done! Read how at the blog: 15. Keep rotating toys and even rearrange your house so they don’t get bored. 

We recently turned a bedroom into a toy room. For days my middle child has been insistent on playing there without me. 

16.  Have more kids. 

This post is decidedly bereft of humor so I had to add that one. Actually though, my oldest and my youngest play together a lot, which helps tremendously!

It’s a legitimate challenge working with small children underfoot, but it doesn’t have to stress you out. Once you learn how to change things up and keep the little boogers occupied, it’s a blessing to be able to have them with you all day … well, kind of …


39 thoughts on “How to distract your kids while you work

  1. These are great ideas! I don’t even attempt to write when my baby is awake, but when he gets a little older (and drops a nap), I’ll have to try some of these!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, these are more toddler tips, although I did have to work with my newborn … and a toddler and a special needs newborn … and a baby and a toddler and a four year old … and now two toddlers and a 5YO 😱


  2. Love these! I also let them play a game an easy one we’ve played quite a bit that they can handle on their own lol! Mine are 3 & 6 so it does get challenging while my oldest is in school because that leaves only mommy to play with! I’ll have to try some of these with her but I dont know my youngest sure does love to play WITH someone! She loves attention and is a HUGE mommy’s girl.

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  3. Hehe, have more kids!!! But, bravo to you, mama! Three kids, while working, with no childcare is DEFINITELY an accomplishment, and I know it has to be a money saver!

    Outside is my go-to!! We have a fenced in backyard, and my 18 month old loves to just run around. I can easily watch him while I get some work done on my laptop. And, we’re both getting some Vitamin D. Win-win!! Thanks so much for sharing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very good tips. I had a friend who had entirely different toys for the kids to play with while she worked. They could ONLY play with those toys while she worked.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I teach online from home with my toddler right by my side, so I needed this post! I have done a few on the list, but I am definitely going to try the rest. Well, maybe not the have more kids. Haha. But definitely rotating toys and building a fort!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We love VeggieTales, although many of the songs get stuck in my head for days. My hubby will say, “What are you singing?”. These are good tips. I like making tents too. Sometimes, I’ll bring the computer to the sunroom and let them get fresh air while I type a few things. I have found that rotation and variety are the best things.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love your post, It’s indeed a matter of keeping them busy. I myself am a stay/work at home mom. I just have one daughter and I must say she can keep herself busy quite well and if she does ask for a bit more attention I put on the tv. But sometimes it’s just enough that I play with her while i’m working on my laptop. She ‘cooks’ me something in her little kitchen and I have to eat it. So that’s something I can do while i’m working. I actually have a pretty easy child when it comes on keeping herself busy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I had to laugh at #16. During my firstborn’s first 2 years, I worked from home one day a week. I was thinking, it’s probably easier with more than one child to keep each other occupied. On the other hand, my kids fight a lot and are constantly calling on me to tell on each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great list! I love the last tip ‘have more kids’ because that actually works the best. I have 3 girls, and despite the occasional arguments about nothing, they can entertain each other for hours. I will definitely have to try the washing plastic dishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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