Ways to Keep Kids Busy While You Work from Home

Parenting and working is pretty much impossible to do simultaneously.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic potion to solve the challenge of working from home with kids at home. Interruptions and distractions are inevitable. But here are some screen-free boredom buster options that we hope will buy you some more time to get a little work done!


Design a treasure hunt.

Give them a task of items to find and offer a fun reward when they find everything on the list. Don’t forget to make it hard – keep them occupied for as long as possible! 

Divide and conquer, if you can!

Talk to your partner about setting up a schedule or just managing expectations. Right now, my husband is still working out of the home, so doing the hourly shifts is not possible. But my husband knows when he comes home, we work together on dinner, dishes and cleaning up the house. 

Create an idea jar.

Every time your child asks to do something that requires your involvement, write the idea down and put it in a box or jar. Once work hours are over or the weekend comes, your child can pull an idea out for you to do together!  

Host a virtual play date.

Do you have a fun relative or friend who can help educate or entertain your child while you work? Perhaps they find something interactive (a game, flash cards, scavenger hunt, beauty lesson, etc) they can do while you’re working. 

Related: Tips for Making Video Chat Meaningful

Offer independent, creative toys.

Let imaginations soar! Pull out the building or construction toys, play sets, games, puzzles and brain teasers. There are so many options – including Feed the Woozle, Find It, Melissa and Doug’s Suspend, Bananagrams, Rubik’s Cube for older kids, etc. If you’ve got just one child to keep entertained, get your hands on some single-player games. If you’ve got more than one who will play something together without screaming at each other, get multi-player games! Here are some local toy and game stores you can check out online:

Arts and crafts!

Choose art projects carefully and make a space for it. We always save new supplies (watercolors, new markers, paper, stamps, cardboard boxes etc) for the times we need it most!

Encourage outdoor play.

For us, I sit inside looking out through a window and watch the kids on our side patio playing. We also just bought a used playset (hello, Facebook Marketplace!) for our backyard. On warmer days, I plan to sit on my back deck and let the kids get their wiggles out. 

Related: 70 Things to Do with Kids Now That We’re All Stuck at Home

Go old school.

Let your kids do their own thing. As a 1980’s child, this isn’t too difficult for me. It’s incredible to see what they get into. Kids will get creative and use their imaginations. Just make sure sharpies, scissors and all the other dangerous things are safely secured and out of reach!

Let go of the guilt.

This is the most important thing. We’re in a global pandemic. So let the guilt of not being present with the kids go. They see you are physically home with them and they will understand this one day. 

How are you keeping your kids entertained? Let us know!

Related Articles



april 2024 Indys child magazine

From our Sponsors