The Art of Juggling: Balancing Work and Keeping Kids Amused at Home

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Many of us have been forced into working from home in recent years.

For those working from home with kids, one of the most difficult things to overcome is keeping children busy.

Here’s why I mention it – I have been working from home as a Virtual Assistant since 2007 with a young child.

So how do you increase productivity while at the same time doing a good job of looking after your little ones?  Kids can be unpredictable at the best of times and that’s not always conducive to great concentration and productivity.

If you’ve found yourself struggling to work because the kids are bored and won’t leave you alone you are certainly not alone.

If you are looking for some ideas of what to do from home check out these: 

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1. Keep to a Routine and Have Rules

When working from home with kids it’s important to maintain a routine that your children can get used to. This includes times when you need to get on with work and don’t want to be disturbed. Setting these boundaries from the outset can save a lot of problems later.

Within this, you also need to have some quality time that you can spend with your children.  You most certainly don’t want to be sat at your computer screen every minute of the day while they play.

Schedule some breaks where you can do something together.

2. Plan Activities

There are literally thousands of different activities that you can do to keep your kids entertained at home.  Everything from building a fort out of cardboard to online learning and games that should keep them occupied.

Children must be exposed to a range of physical, emotional and intellectual challenges during the day. But above all, things need to be fun to keep them engaged so you can get on with your work.

Check out these amazing activities for kids from Active For Life.

3. Working From Home With Kids – Boredom Jar

One tricky thing about working from home with kids is that there is the potential for boredom.

A way around this is to create a boredom jar. This contains rolls of paper with tasks or games to play written on them to keep your kids busy. If your child is getting fidgety and complaining, they can take a lucky dip and get on with something new.

However, if you have a jar lying around then you can either create your own activities that you know your child will enjoy or purchase the activity cards. One example is below:

This boredom jar cards comes with 192 cards so would keep any child amused for a very long time.

4. Art for Art’s Sake

One activity that can keep kids occupied for a long time is art. Make sure you have plenty of supplies and different options for creating wonderful works.

This can also be carried out in an area like the kitchen table where you can sit and supervise while getting on with your job.  Etsy is a great place to find art supplies that are that little bit different such as a paint your own name kit.

There are a lot of paint your own name kits on Etsy which will charge depending on the number of letters in the name. Check them out.

5. Facetime

If you’ve got a home based job you don’t have to handle everything on your own. If you’ve got parents, aunts and uncles who are willing to lend a hand then let them!  A little face time through a video conferencing app can take the pressure off and let you get on with work.

6. Educational Apps and Games

Back when I started out as a Virtual Assistant we didn’t have iPads etc for kids to use. But now with advancements in technology, there are so many educational apps and games available. Ensure you choose age-appropriate educational apps and games that promote learning while having fun. There are numerous apps that cover a wide range of subjects and skills.

7. Storytelling Time

Encourage your kids to create their own stories using their imagination. You could provide them with prompts or even props to make their storytelling sessions more engaging.

8. Building and Construction

Provide building blocks, Lego sets, or other construction toys. These activities promote creativity, problem-solving, and fine motor skills.

9. Books and Audio

If you do have a particularly tricky work task to get on with, it’s important your children have something to keep them quiet.

One option is to get them reading or listening to an audiobook. Of course, while you may want to limit access, letting them watch TV for a while in the next room can give you some well-earned peace.

Farewell Thoughts: It can be difficult working from home with kids, but if you set a schedule it can be much easier.  Make time to spend with your kids during the day and find them fun and creative activities to do.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family and friends.

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