How To Keep The Kids Entertained At Home
This week I’ve had the great pleasure of working from home with both my kids - please note the sarcasm. I’m used to working around the baby - she’s mostly happy exploring the house while I tap away.
But the two-year-old being around!
Now, THAT’S been tough.
He’s used to his family daycare - his amazing daycare mum takes him to classes, excursions and playgroup. They’re busy and he’s always got a friend around to play with (or argue with).
So when we’re at home, it’s not long before the solo games turn into shouts of “Mum! Want you!” To help me get more work done, I realised needed a plan. Something that’s ready to go and easy to start him playing so I can back out of the room slowly once he’s entertained. Sure, there are absolute gurus around who can show you how to make amazing educational games for littlies. But on work days, I don’t have time to create play trays and stained glass window setups. I need activities that are ready in seconds and engage busy hands for an hour.
Here are our top tips for toys and games to play with kids that will keep them busy and help you get work done!
I know, I really go on and on about puzzles. But they are a saviour in our house. You don’t even need different puzzles. Kids love repetition (explains why we have to listen to the same songs over and over) so one really good puzzle they can do by themselves over and over will keep them entertained for a while.
We’ve got a big range, just google puzzle in the Carte Home shop here
2) Tea Sets
Is there anything more classic than setting up a tea set with a child? It’s easy for a parent to get involved in but even better it will engage the imagination of even a young one. They aren’t just for girls too - come on, it’s 2020! My little guy loves having a tea party with his dinosaurs and superheroes.
3) Water Play
You really don't need to go crazy here. Get a few big containers and a few small containers, including measuring cups and spoons. Fill some up with water and dishwashing detergent, and then leave them out the back.
My kids LOVE this type of entertainment, the baby and the toddler. Sure they get wet, but isn't getting dirty pretty standard? It keeps them entertained for a good 20 or 30mins if I have enough different sized containers. You get extra points/time to yourself if you can incorporate sticks, leaves and rocks so they can practise floating items.
Okay - so this one doesn’t work for phone meetings or video conferencing. BUT it’s a great idea if you’ve got two or more little kids. My toddler loves playing instruments with his baby sister. It’s great for their development and an array of instruments means there is always something new to pick up.
5) Obstacle Course
If you want to encourage gross motor skills and imaginative play, then obstacles courses are the go! I literally just found things from around my house to create a Pirate-themed obstacle course in our backyard. Old bricks became rocks we have to balance on and jump off; a single piece of timber we walk across is walking the plank; the broom lying down is sharks we have to jump over and then at the end we pick up a ball a.k.a treasure and run away with it. My little guy was not into the obstacle course until I made it an imagination activity too, and now he's "walking the plank" by himself all day long.
Better yet, when it is play time for me and him together, it's something we both enjoy doing.
What are your favourite, easy ways to keep the kids entertained?
Please let us know below!