15 Activities for Toddlers to Do While Mama Works at Home
Give me a hoo-rah if you're a working mama who works from home! We're a special breed, you and I. We have to do the job of a SAHM and a working mom all at the same time. It's enough to make your head spin (it at least makes my head spin). I have been doing this for over two years now and will soon enough be adding another baby to the mix. That's right - TWO KIDS - while I work. That's no easy task. However, over the past few years, I have learned that scheduling, to-do lists, and a plan make it a lot easier. You can check out my post on working from home with kids here.
Today, I'm giving you a list of my favorite activities to have planned for my toddler while I work. Maybe they can help you out too!
Remember, the important thing here is to have a schedule. No toddler, no matter how wonderful, is going to sit for 8 hours and do activities. I break it up and let J watch Sesame Street while he eats breakfast, then he hangs with nana for a few hours, then we go to the gym, and then I have him do some activities before naptime. I start working at 6am, so I do get a lot of work done before he wakes up too. It's all about creative scheduling!
1) Use worksheets with letters and numbers and have your toddler fill in the letter/number with stickers, markers, crayons, or gluing noodles.
2) Teach your toddler how to make a puppet out of a paper lunch bag. They can use stickers, glue, yarn, and anything else they'd like to make their creation.
3) On YouTube, you can find stories read out loud. This will give your babe a story time while you work! I also have used Audible and Spotify for audiobooks.
4) Don't underestimate the awesomeness that is LEGOS. My son loves them and will actually stay focused on building his legos for more than 3 minutes.
5) Busy Bags are awesome. You can use them for work or when you go out and need your toddler to be sane. Here's a link to 7 cool busy bag ideas.
6) This clipping toy is homemade and helps your toddler work on his/her fine motor skills.
7) If you're cool with screen time, you can give your toddler a spare phone or tablet for some educational apps.
8) My son LOVES taking things apart and seeing how they work. Give your toddler a screwdriver and a toy car and let him "fix it."
9) Puzzles are another one of those toys that my son will actually focus on for some time. Learn the benefits of puzzles here!
10) Get a baking sheet and some magnets for magnet play!
11) This sandpaper + yarn quiet time activity from Modern Parents, Messy Kids is awesome. It's a three in one activity and super cheap.
12) Make a few quiet books to keep the toddler entertained (and quiet..). Here's an easy no-sew tutorial.
13) Mark Xs on a piece of paper and challenge your toddler to put a sticker on each one.
14) This one is easy. Get a few pop/water bottles, pipe cleaners, and/or pom pom balls. Here's the hard part, have him/her put them in the bottle and get them out. Hehe. As simple as this sounds, it totally works.
15) Use toilet or paper towel rolls, paint them, and have your toddler string them on a rope, ribbon, or string like beads on a necklace.
What activities do you do to keep your toddler happy, entertained, and educated while you work?