Sometimes, parents need time to get some housework, schoolwork, or even job-related work done. However, toddlers and young children can get very much in the way of this and need something to distract them while their parents complete tasks. The following are a few tips for distracting and keeping a toddler busy, so that their parents can get some well-deserved rest or else complete some essential work around the house.
Put in a new DVD of your toddler’s favorite cartoon or movie. A new DVD is preferable to an older one, because toddlers can become bored with something they have already seen multiple times. Choosing something that is in the same vein of what they already enjoy is best, as you know it already holds their attention. Supplement the DVD with a favorite blanket, large toy, or other toy that cannot be used to get them in trouble. Crayons, for example, can be used for coloring on walls and shouldn’t be used if you plan on focusing more of your attention on work than on the child for a period of time.
Save some cardboard boxes of all sizes from purchases, packages, and grocery orders. Give all the boxes for the child to play with. If they need incentive, ask them to build you something, like a rocket ship, car, or boat. Be wary that giving a child cardboard can result in painful paper cuts. To quickly remedy a paper cut, apply chap stick to the cut and then cover with a band aid. This will let you continue on with your work, and relieve the pain of your child, and let them get back to playing.
A few days or weeks in advance of needing to work, hide away some of your child’s favorite toys. Then, when the child needs to play quietly, bring out the toys you had hidden. It is likely the child will have forgotten about the toys, and a reunion will keep them entertained for much longer than it would have if you let them play with the toys the same amount leading up to the day you need to work.
Purchase ball pit balls, and pour them into a laundry basket or small children’s pool. Many children love ball pits, and will particularly enjoy them at home. This is particularly true if, for hygiene reasons, you do not let them play in ball pits at restaurants or other places.
Be sure to check in with your child for small visits, even if you are diligently working in another room. Dropping in for ten minutes every hour you need to work will let them know they are not alone and should continue playing.
Getting housework done as a parent with a toddler can sometimes seem like an effort in futility. However, by using some fun new ideas, you can keep your child entertained as you complete your to do list, guilt free. By following the simple steps above, you can make sure your child has a fun and safe playing experience, even as you work and cannot be there to watch their every single move.