Ideas to keep kids busy while you work from home

If you’re like many parents right now it’s probably challenging enough dealing with the stress of life. Add in the fact that many of us are working from home with kids around and it’s enough to drive anyone crazy. That’s why I wanted to share my go to boredom busters for kids that are perfect to keep kids busy while you work from home.

Right now I’m trying to work from home while also home with 5 kids. I’m homeschooling grades 7, 5, and 2 in French. French is a second language for me so to be honest I’m not very good at it. Sometimes it goes pretty well, but I still need to keep the kids busy sometimes on their own.

Ideas to keep kids busy while you work from home

These aren’t like… Structured craft ideas or games that require a lot of prep. They’re quick, easy ideas that should work for most ages of kids that can’t occupy themselves for long periods. They’ll buy you a few minutes to get some work done or call a client.

Counting around the house

This one is great to combine with schooling. Have your kids go around the house and count the number of objects in a category. For younger kids pick shapes or colours (eg. ‘see how many circles you can find) but older ones can get more technical like how many magnetic things, items with batteries, etc.

Quick exercise

YouTube isn’t your enemy for once! Find the kids some kind of physical activity they can do that’s directed on YouTube. Cosmic Kids Yoga is a personal favourite, but there’s all kinds of kids fitness routines out there. Another idea, if you have it, is to set the kids up on a video game like Just Dance.

Clean their room

Whenever my kids are bored I tell them to clean their rooms. They usually don’t, but at least it buys me a few more minutes of peace. You could do something specific like asking them to pick up all their books or dirty laundry if you really do want a chore completed.

Free crafting to keep kids busy while you work

Haul out the craft supplies you never use and let the kids go at it. Print off some inspiration online or let them go online themselves to look for ideas. You could set a timer and have them see who can make the best creation in that amount of time (and tell them they can’t bug you during that time so you can work).

Give them a LEGO or building challenge

Depending on the kids’ ages and what you have in the house you can set up a building challenge. With blocks, have them build a tower that uses all their pieces, or that’s a certain height, or maybe a city. With something like LEGO they can build a DIY maze, a spaceship, or anything else you want to challenge them to do.

Let them sit next to you

I’ve always found this one helpful. I usually park my laptop in the kitchen or let my kids sit with my at my desk while I’m trying to get some work done. That way we can be ‘together’ while I still get a few things accomplished. Little kids can colour or do art projects, and older kids can sit and down their homework or school projects.

Some other tips to help keep kids busy while you work (and buy you some more time)

  • Set a timer. Tell the kids they have to occupy themselves until the time come sup.
  • Have rewards. Maybe it’s time for a new reward chart in the house for playing nicely.
  • Order some kits. If you have some extra money grab some craft kits online to pull out when the kids need to be occupied.
  • Get some outside time. Weather and yard space permitting, make sure the kids are getting time outside every day.
  • Adjust your expectations. It’s tough to get everything done while trying to work from home and care for kids. Cut yourself some slack.

Get some family time in

The kids are bothering you because they’re bored and want your attention. Try and spend time together as a family as much as possible. Take a few minute break from work and play with the kids, or adjust your schedule to accommodate them when possible.

Hopefully these ideas will help keep kids busy while you work from home so you can buy yourself a few minutes of productivity.