How to keep the kids entertained whilst you work from home

Summer holidays are well underway and it’s been tough juggling everything. My mother-in-law is no longer able to help out and is recovering from back surgery, so we are currently having to manage child care between the two of us. Added on top of that, our train line has just started undergoing maintenance which brings three weeks of disruptions – talk about timing!

Mr H is having to work from home over this time and look after the boys three days a week. The boys are only used to both of us working from home one day a week so I am unsure how they will currently take to being at home for the majority of the week.

Booking into clubs is also a bit of a problem because M is still too young to be left anywhere (he needs to be 5) which in turn means it would be unfair to book E into clubs and leave M at home feeling lonely.

I have the utmost respect for parents who work from home full time and manage to keep their children busy! We are having to be a little creative when we’re working from home to keep the boys entertained.

Here are just some of the ways we plan on doing.

Organise different activities

One of the phrases I hear the most at the moment is “I’m bored, I don’t know what to do” Having been used to a routine and structure at school the boys are sometimes at a loss as to what they can to do entertain themselves. Yes, they have their toys to play with, TV and tablets to watch but they can only do that for a certain amount of time before they are wanting to move onto something else.

I try and suggest different activities that they can do along side me when I am working.

Arts & Crafts
Arts and Crafts can be a great little activity. Give them the craft box and let them go wild! You could even turn it into a competition to see who can make the biggest model or who can make the most items to keep things interesting.

Make Reading & Writing fun
We’re keen for M to start focusing on his phonics a bit more and to start sounding out words from books in preparation for school in September. We have a set of Oxford Learning Tree books which are great beginners books which E helps M sounds out words with and reads. E also has Work Books and Mathletics which he spends some time on too. We try and incorporate these into the day and make them fun. They don’t have to spend long on them either but it’s nice to keep their brains ticking.

Play Doh or Kinetic Sand
Things like Play Doh/Plasticine or Kinetic Sand are also activities they can do whilst sitting next to you – just worry about the mess it will invariably create later!

Treasure Hunt
Alternatively, you could plan a treasure hunt. This could be in the garden but would also work well indoors too. If you had time to organise it, you could leave clues around for them to find and work out where to find the treasure. Failing that, for an easier version you could leave marbles dotted around for them to hunt for and see who can find the most to win a prize.

Home Cinema
Get the kids to set up their own home cinema with cushions and blankets. Then choose a movie to watch – you just provide the popcorn and drinks. This is something we do a lot of and the boys love it. As a special treat, I let them choose a new movie to download from Amazon Prime every now and then so they aren’t watching the same movies over and over. I find this holds their attention span a little longer!

Work on the go

The boys can’t be cooped up all week at home, they need to exert their energy and have a change of environment.

Go to the Park
If it’s nice out we can pack a picnic and take it to the local park or playground so the boys can play and have a run around. We can then work on our laptops, and if need be tether an internet connection from our phones.

Soft Play
We are also lucky enough to have a Soft play place within walking distance to us which we could visit if the weather’s not great. The boys are at a good age where they will happily go off to play together giving us time to do some work whilst (hopefully) enjoying a tea or coffee.

Visit the library
For a change of scenery, the library could also be a good place to visit. Kids can keep themselves busy pouring over the many different types of books they have to offer.

Exchange Play Dates
If you need a few hours to make phone calls or concentrate on work, organising for a friend who also has children to have them for a morning or afternoon could be a lifesaver. You can then return the favour when you are free.

How do you keep the kids entertained whilst working from home? I would love to hear your tips on how you do it.

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30 Comments

  1. Great ideas for working families! We try to do some of our “work” together, chores that is. When I need to get some computer work done, I encourage the kids to do their chores as well so we can spend time later for doing a fun activity together like going to the beach or museum. I find that giving the kiddos a deadline motivates them to get their work done and then we can all play together.

  2. Some really good ideas here Maria. It’s tricky balancing work and the kids in the holidays, but these ideas work well for everyone!

  3. Very good idea and I hope they work for you both! #KCACOLS

  4. Great tips! #KALCOLS

  5. Some great ideas here, useful for getting jobs done around the house too. Hope your summer holidays are going well. #kcacols

  6. Great ideas. I mostly do my blogging at night but it would be great to have a bit of time during the day to do more! #kcacols

  7. Some lovely ideas here. I often take my tablet to the local cafe and work there when Booey is home. She feels very grown up sitting there with a drink and a book.
    #KCACOLS

  8. Wow, excellent ideas here. I am always impressed that anyone manages to do any work with kids around. Even the ipad only seems to entertain for half an hour. Pen x #KCACOLS

  9. Great ideas! I know so many mamas and papas who would love this post #KCACOLS

  10. We exchange play dates, a few days I have their kids and a few days they have mine. It’s pretty painful when everyone visits us tho hahaha #kcacols

  11. Great ideas – we’ve done a lot of slime making this holidays so far. It’s very messy and gets everywhere, I mean everywhere, but it’s kept my two eldest busy for hours as they try to master the perfect slime. Also love kinetic sand in this family. #KCACOLS

  12. I reckon that will be quite handy for many mummies out there! The treasure hunt or the movie look like the best to me! I love that #KCACOLS

  13. There are some really useful ideas here, thank you! It really is a juggling act, trying to work with the children around! x #KCACOLS

  14. I’ve just written a post on the very same subject! I’m not ashamed to use the TV as a babysitter & I don’t think we should feel guilty either #KCACOLS

  15. Some great ideas which we have been or will be utilising.

    Hope your MIL recovery is going well.
    #KCACOLS

  16. I don’t work and I’m still struggling to keep my son occupied! I think I will give a few of these a shot! #KCACOLS

  17. I know what you’re saying! I’ve had to do the same. Juggling over the summer holidays can be hard work. I use films as a bit of catch up time, also the arts and crafts (although this doesn’t always work if they start fighting!). I’ve also done childcare swaps with neighbours which is invaluable. #KCACOLS

  18. I heard so many good review on the Kinetic Sand, I think it’s a fun way to keep my toddler busy indoors #KCACOLS

  19. Home cinema works well for us… sometimes! #kcacols

  20. I needed this so much sooner! I have really struggled with getting everything done. We have a free soft play near us that I don’t think many people know about (it’s only free until 12) so I’ve been able to go and physically write stuff in notepads. Getting stuff online is a different story though!

    #KCACOLS

  21. These are great ideas Maria. I do struggle to work arpund Olivia when she is off so sometimes we have to be a creative #kcacols

  22. work on the go is my favourite:) Really good ideas here, especially that my son can’t sit 5 minutes in one place:D

  23. forgot about #KCACOLS ;p

  24. I tend to work in the garden if it’s nice out so I can watch my bubby eating dirt while I write. #kcacols

  25. These are all great tips for keeping children busy! Thank you for sharing. #kcacols

  26. This is so helpful over the summer holidays, I think there’s a lot of people going crazy over the last month trying to work from home whilst the kids run riot! I love the idea of a home cinema, my kids are always quiet whilst they watch a film, especially if there’s popcorn! #kcacols

  27. It can be hard trying to squeeze in work with kids at home. Exchanging play dates works really well for us sometimes x
    #kcacols

  28. Such great ideas! Fab posts!

    #KCACOLS

  29. Great tips! I have found the holidays tough to keep three entertained and just get the housework done! Parents who work from home amaze me 🙂 #KCACOLS

  30. Pingback: Our stay at the Holiday Inn Express, Southampton #KidsAdvisor | Suburban Mum

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