Finding things for kids to do while you work at home can be a full-time job in itself—which is why a work-at-home parent's kids must learn to find their own things to do. Yet most children aren't born knowing how to entertain themselves; it takes practice.
Of course, kids would prefer a daily menu of things to do that are all super exciting (and most likely require parental help). It takes a little encouragement and some training. When children settle down with these less exciting but still enjoyable activities, they expand their attention spans and begin learning how to keep themselves busy.
Here is a small list for you to look upto -
Art projects can keep some kids occupied for hours. However, if this is to be an independent activity, children should be able to do most of the setup and clean up on their own. So keep it simple!
For younger children do projects that don't require cutting or you can do the cutting in advance. For the youngest kids, this might be as simple as coloring.
2. Reading and writing
Though many kids younger than 8 can read, for reading to be an independent activity child have to get to a certain level of proficiency. However, there are many wordless or nearly wordless books that will engage kids of all ages and reading levels.
And these are a great place to start because if you send a reluctant or struggling reader off to read something difficult while you work, you won't be instilling a love of books—quite the opposite. So to encourage reading, let kids choose several books from the library.
Plus, pick a few yourself in case they are unhappy with their choices later. Better to return some unread than to not have a good book on hand when needed. If you have an e-reader or tablet, that's great, but having some old-fashioned books on hand may encourage browsing, which can turn into reading.
3. Educational Games and courses
If you have a computer or tablet available to your kids during work hours, educational computer courses impart a little learning and some fun at the same time. These games keep kids thinking and that keeps boredom at bay.
Consider setting a time limit in advance on electronic games, even educational ones, because kids can find it hard to disengage from their screens.1 And honestly, as a parent, it is easy to let this quiet time for you to go on longer than it should.
Some work-at-home parents work during nap time and get a lot done. But this won't last forever. Keep in mind that napping habits change frequently. Don’t schedule important phone calls or figure on meeting a deadline during the nap time.
Because of the unreliability of nap time, we suggest planning non-essential, usually non-work tasks for nap time, i.e. resting, household chores, reading, etc. If you do get some professional work done, then that's a bonus.
Sounds obvious, but any parent who's sifted through the toy box just after the holidays knows how quickly kids lose interest in their toys. Put away some toys for a period of time. When they come back into the rotation, they seem like new.
Board games, cards, construction toys, trains, playsets, and puzzles are just a few of the good toys that can keep kids engaged for hours. But sometimes they have to be reminded of these toys.