How to Keep Your Toddler Entertained While Working From Home or Self-Learning to Code

Secrets from a mom of 2 under 3

Being a stay at home parent is not an easy task. Add to that working or learning to code and your life turns into a circus. Juggling hundreds of small tasks and your own to-do list can be daunting.

Given the world’s current situation many of us find ourselves in this dilemma.

After a few months of trial and error, this is what has worked for me. I have moved from my desk to the kitchen table. Yes, I have an office and desk, but when you have children running around, you have to keep 1 eye on them and the other on your computer. If I try to separate myself from the chaos it follows me therefore I have learned to be one with my children. Let them be around while I am working.

Try to explain to your children that you are working and that this is important. Children are very smart and understand more than you think. In the beginning, it might be difficult but have patience. Eventually, your children will learn to play independently.

“Independent play is as important as socializing. It teaches children how to be creative, independent, self-reliant, and improves their focus, thinking capabilities and problem-solving skills”

In this post, I will share with you my go-to activity ideas that can help keep your children entertained while you work or study. Give them only one activity at a time and spread them throughout the day. If you dump everything all at once they will feel overwhelmed and will not know what to do or how to play independently.

1. Puzzles

Give one to each child and make sure the puzzles are age-appropriate so they do not feel overwhelmed.

2. Coloring books/ Paper with colors

My son and daughter love coloring books or just drawing on paper. Especially if they see that I am writing something down they always ask me for paper and a pen or color. Just have them ready to go.

3. Washable Markers

What toddler doesn’t love markers? I’m sure we can all agree markers are a lot more fun then regular colors and even better if they are washable!

4. Playdough

I usually give a small amount and only 1 or 2 colors at a time to my children. This depends on how old your child is. Include some play dough cutting accessories and you are set for 45 minutes to an hour.

5. Legos (Duplo)

Depending on your child’s age you can use regular Legos or Duplo. Even as an adult I love Legos. You can do so much just let your imagination run wild.

6. Sensory Bins

Sensory Bins can be a bit messy but they are worth it. You can put different toys and items in each bin every day to keep it new and interesting.

7. Snacks

This is my GO-TO activity. Who doesn’t like snacks? Especially when they come with a delicious juice box. My children love snacks. It does not have to be unhealthy. You can cut up some fruit or buy healthy muffins or cookies.

Each of these activities keeps my children entertained for at least 30–45 minutes sometimes even an hour if I am lucky.

I follow the Pomodoro Technique while working and studying therefore this is perfect for my time-management system. This method breaks up your workday into time chunks separated by breaks, which is best for efficiency. If you are learning to code this is a great strategy.

If you have any questions about my strategy and what I do to work and study from home lets connect.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Ana Vela's photo

Great tips! I think the Pomodoro Technique works great when you have kids because you tend to get interruptions. Learning to work in small, focused time-frames will help you complete more tasks throughout the day.

Brenda Michelle's photo

Thank you Ana! It actually does work great together. It isn't always perfect but it helps to break up my day.

Emilie Shin's photo

You are amazing and truly inspiring! I really didn't push myself learning web development when my little one was that age. I sincerely am in awe of you. :-)

Brenda Michelle's photo

Thank you Emilie! It is not easy and honestly some days I cannot even turn on my computer but you just have to take it day by day. Thank you for your support and for reading my article :)