Whether you're a Work From Home Mom (WFHM) or Stay At Home Mom (SAHM), there's no doubt you need some time to get things done. Both are full time jobs and let's be honest, children demand your attention 24/7.
Babies and toddlers have what seems to be an indefinite amount of energy. They look for your attention constantly and need you to engage, making it extremely difficult to keep up with them and still finish your responsibilities! As a parent, you may look for ways to keep them distracted while you get work done. Avoid sitting them in front of a television or tablet, and instead set them up with projects that will help develop their fine motor skills and encourage learning and growth!
Giving your child thought provoking and hands on activities will not only keep them busy while you are productive beside them, but also help to tire them out so that they'll sleep well later. Whether you need to get your own work done, or are looking for a fun project to do together, we have some awesome ideas!
Projects While Mom & Dad Are Busy
Please note children should never be left alone or out of sight; an adult must always be close by to supervise and monitor their safety.
Begin by making sure the space baby is playing in has been safety proofed. It can be helpful to put anything not child friendly away and out of reach, cover outlets, etc. Throw some old towels or newspaper on the floor for an easy clean up.
- Chalk Play is a favorite of all ages, and can last for hours. From coloring in drawings on the sidewalk to building games like hopscotch, there are endless possibilities for children. This is a great way to encourage free play. Bonus, it's an easy clean up by simply hosing off the ground!
- Blowing Bubbles is a fun activity as floating bubbles can be a new and magical experience for baby. Endless chasing of escaping bubbles and reaching up to pop them can expend energy before naptime. As your child gets older, they may practice blowing different sized bubbles.
- Indoor Blow Up Pool. Put baby in a blow up pool in the living room with their favorite toys. This can be a new experience for them indoors and an enjoyable way to keep them contained!
- Homemade Necklace. Make a cheerio or macaroni necklace to keep little hands busy. Fill a few bowls with multicolored macaroni and cheerios, cut colorful yarn long enough for necklaces and bracelets. This project gives children complete creative control and the space to exercise their imagination.
- Play Dough. Grab different colored play-dough or easy molding clay for fun sensory play. Let baby squish and play while molding different objects such as snowman, worms, flowers, and more!
- Building Blocks are an important toy for baby's development of motor skills, and definitely a favorite of all children. With some direction, they can put pieces together to build towers, houses, roads, and then knock them all down!
- Coloring Time is another wonderfully creative outlet for children. This can be done on paper, chalkboard or whiteboard. We recommend playing classical music during coloring time as it has been proven to increase concentration skills, and also provides a relaxing atmosphere.
- Ziplock Fingerpainting is a great activity for baby during tummy time! Take a large ziplock bag and fill it with shaving cream and a few drops of different food coloring. Close bag and massage the two ingredients together. Place bag in front of baby during tummy time and allow them to push the foam around and draw lines with their finger. This activity works their sensory development, fine motor skills, early writing skills, and helps with understanding cause and effect.
Activities To Do Together
Take some time together to deplete their energy until they are ready for "quiet time."
- Balloon Fun. First, put away all delicate or fragile items in the home. Blowing up a few balloons is a great opportunity for many games. Together, you can play catch, make up games where the balloons cant touch the floor, pretend tennis, and even insert glow sticks into the balloons and turn off the lights! Balloons are lightweight so they are less likely to break things in the house, are larger for little hands to bump and catch, and move slowly.
- Physical Play games are a must when trying to expend your child's energy. Some of our favorites are Hide & Seek, Tag, Catch, Red Rover if you have a group of people, kite flying and going to the park!
- Dance Party! Turn up the music and put on colorful lights if you have them. Children of all ages can wiggle to the tunes, those that are walking will be able to jump around the living room! Teaching your baby some sweet moves will put smiles on both of your faces and get them moving.
- Homemaker Pretend Play. Babies want to do what you're doing. Use this time to teach them how to be helpful! Teach them chores like sweeping, dusting with a rag, folding socks when there's clean laundry, and picking up their toys. No real cleaning will get done, but having them join you during these tasks while you give lots of encouragement and praise, will leave your child with a sense of accomplishment and learned responsibility.
- Read Together. Storytime is a great leisure activity to incorporate into your every day routine. Reading together is a great way to have "quiet time" as your child winds down for a nap or bed time.
- Chef's Little Helper. Just as your child learns from helping with chores, they also learn in watching mom or dad cook and will take great pride in helping! Give your little chef simple tasks such as pouring and mixing, and keep them away from anything that could hurt them such as knives or hot stoves.
- Puzzle Play is engaging for the whole family and an excellent game to practice problem solving skills.