It’s not easy working from home with kids. Studies show that having children at home while you work affects well-being as much as food, exercise and figuring out where to set up the home office. But finding fun activities to occupy the kids so you can type that much-needed email doesn’t need to be stressful.
Next time you need to get work done and entertain the wee ones, try these creative tips — not only will it help increase your child’s creativity and motor skills, but it’ll benefit your productivity too.
Write letters to loved ones
Let your kids put coloured pencils to paper and write letters to their favourite people. Maybe they miss a special friend during lockdown or can’t wait to visit Nan and Pop. Not only will this educational activity help develop your child’s literary skills, but the receiver will benefit from the warm fuzzies too.
Rubbing art craft activity
Rubbing art is one of the best craft activities for kids. Show the kids how to place a piece of paper on top of a textured object. Then, use the side of a crayon or charcoal pencil to make a rubbing. Afterwards, send them on a treasure hunt. Have them scout around the house and backyard for coins, leaves, shells and anything else with a textured surface they can find. The time they spend making pressed prints will help you send that report out on time.
Slime sensory play
Popularised in the nineties and a strong favourite of sensory play, slime provides hours of hands-on fun for kids at home. Buy a bucket of gooey slime from your local arts and crafts store, then schedule slime time for the kids. Remember to be mindful of littlies who like putting things in their mouths – it might look tasty, but slime isn’t edible.
Mindfully blow bubbles
Blowing bubbles is a mindful activity for kids and adults. Not only will blowing bubbles help keep the kids quiet while you’re on a Zoom call, but it can also provide you with a way to relax while working from home. You’ll find bubble-making toys like small party bottles and giant bubble wands at most dollar stores. Plus, bubble mixtures are easy to make.
Mix one-part dishwashing liquid with six parts water in a jar and leave to sit overnight. And if you don’t have any bubble wands handy, find a plastic funnel from the kitchen. You can use the large end to dip and the small end to blow.
Create a dress-up box
A dress-up box is one of the most fun activities for kids at home. Plus, it’s easy to create. Find an empty box or basket and fill it with a bunch of old clothes, jewellery and colourful make-up. Then let your little ones go wild. Tell them they’re the stars of their own story and ask them to write a play for you to watch - after work, of course! And if any make-up finds its way onto the carpet or upholstery during rehearsals, you can use Rug Doctor Spot Remover to treat it.
Sculpt with play dough
Like slime, play dough is an excellent sensory activity for kids. The colourful dough can be squished flat, rolled up or sculpted into any animal your child can dream up. Plus, you can combine play dough with other children’s toys like wooden blocks or kids cookie cutters to make easy arts and crafts projects at home.
As an added bonus, you can easily make your own playdough with a few pantry ingredients and a simple recipe, which is totally safe for the kids should some of the play dough end up in their mouths. Making your own also means you can choose your own colours, or you can just keep it natural.
Play with pets
Pets provide kids with hours of cuddles and energetic play. Plus, not only does pet play teach children compassion and responsibility, research suggests that children feel and learn better with a furry friend by their side.
The tips above will help keep your little angels smiling, so you work from home in peace. And for extra parenting points, turn these tips into a boredom busting jar. Write down each idea onto a separate piece of paper, roll them up into individual scrolls and place them all into a jar. Next time you’re trying to get work done at home, get the kids to undo the lid and unroll a solution. All those playful ideas will help you get your work finished on time. Winning.
Sometimes having fun means you get a few spills here and there - and that's okay! Once the kids are all tuckered out, and you've hit send your last email for the day, download our Ultimate Stain Guide to make light work of those tricky stains.