How to keep your kids entertained while working from home

We’ve all seen the clips of kids interrupting their parents during their work-from-home meetings because they’re bored, want a snack, or just simply want some attention. While you love your kids dearly, now that you’re working from home, you don’t want the same thing happening to you.

To avoid some of the chaos that comes with working from home with little ones, a delicate balance of keeping them entertained, while also getting your own work done is key! Here are some ways you can keep your kids busy.

For your mini me: play office

Kids love to mimic adults, and will find hours of fun in copying everything they do. Take advantage of their interest and set up a “play office” just like yours. This is a great way to keep them entertained while also keeping a close eye on them. 

Start with a small desk and chair and leave art supplies, and colouring and activity books on it, so they have plenty to keep them busy (and as a bonus, away from a screen). You can even go the extra mile of giving them a play phone so they can make and take calls in their play office.

For your little genius: educational toys

Educational toys are a great way to keep your little ones busy and their minds sharp while you work. They provide a range of benefits, from enhancing their motor skill development, to improving their concentration, and encouraging creativity and imagination.

There are a wide variety of age-appropriate educational toys out there, including jigsaw puzzles, kaleidoscopes, abacuses, interactive books, and play sets that can help them learn anything from spelling, to mathematics, and even healthy eating.

Educational toys are also a great way to give your little ones a head start or keep up with their pre-school learning (depending how old they are).

For your little architect: building with LEGO

If you’re looking for an activity that’s good for free play and will also keep your little ones occupied for a while, get them to build with LEGO.

Encourage your child to build tall towers or even their own city. Adding a challenge will keep them entertained, while also improving their hand-eye coordination, enhancing their creativity, and teaching them how to plan and practice patience. They can stick to the box, or you can buy a range of different building blocks and let their imaginations run wild.  

For your little adventurer: scavenger hunts (both outdoor and indoor)

Sooner or later, your little ones will want to get up and move around. One creative way to keep them occupied while burning some energy is with a scavenger hunt.

Hide some objects in the backyard and give your little one a list of the objects to find. If it’s cold or rainy outside, you can have the scavenger hunt inside the house, hiding at least one object in every room. Better yet, you can get the kids to find objects in the house that are a specific colour or shape, as this kind of scavenger hunt requires little-to-no prep on your part.   

For your little scholar: books

Books are a timeless way for children to entertain themselves, no matter how old they are. If your little ones haven’t learnt how to read yet, they can enjoy some quiet time flipping through sensory/board or picture books. If they have started learning how to read, you can help them expand their skills and imagination through easy reader books.

As well as physical copies, you can also get audiobooks for your children (or some physical copies may come with a CD), so they can listen to a story if they’re not in the mood to read or if they’re still learning. 

For your littlest little one: play gyms and playmats

If you have little ones on the younger side (below preschool age), play gyms and playmats will definitely keep them busy, and let them have fun while engaging their senses.

Play gyms usually come with a mat and feature hanging objects for little ones to reach, whether they are on their backs or tummies. These toys help them develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills, stimulate their senses and encourage movement. Play gyms can also benefit you and your work-from-home life, as they are portable and can be placed anywhere.

Playmats usually come with colourful designs and prints that encourage further learning and curiosity. For example, some have roads printed on them for kids to drive a toy car over, while others have jungle animals printed on them, so kids can learn about all the different animals in the world. 

Whether your littles one love to be “just like mum”, are little geniuses, architects, adventurers, scholars, or finding their feet (literally), these activities will keep them happy and busy while you’re hard at work or in your Zoom meeting in the next room.

Brett Sartorial

Brett is a business journalist with a focus on corporate strategy and leadership. With over 15 years of experience covering the corporate world, Brett has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and insightful journalist. He has a deep understanding of the business strategies and leadership principles that drive the world's most successful companies, and is able to explain them in a clear and compelling way. Throughout his career, Brett has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the Davos. He is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for his work.