For work-from-home parents, one of the most challenging things to do is figuring out ways to keep the kids quiet during business calls, conference calls, and virtual meetings. No one said working from home would be a walk in the park, but it can sure be enjoyable even for the kids, especially when parents designate activities that allow them some quiet time and personal exploration.
To help keep moms and dads concentrated on work, and keep the kids learning and out of trouble, check out this list for ten ideas to keep the kids entertained and quiet during important calls. Enjoy!
10. Exploration Box
What cooler way to keep the little ones quiet during work calls than to let them get their MacGyver on. Exploration boxes are a super fun way to let kids’ imagination run wild, not to mention instill a bit of ingenuity. The best part is… exploration boxes are pretty simple to make. Have a few old shoe boxes lying around? A few child-friendly household items that could be stacked or thrown together to make something else? Place them in a box and let your little one create a world of his or her own. You will be surprised at what they can come up with.
9. Build A…
Legos, cars, blocks, puzzles, magnets, you name it, encourage your little to build a whole new world. Building is a great way to keep the kids occupied and entertained for a while, while parents are tending to business. Consider throwing in some sand or water too to create different kinds of worlds through textures and fun, new environments. Be sure to keep an eye out while they are exploring, you want to make sure the towers don’t get too tall or the underwater worlds don’t get too slippery.
8. Fruit Paintings
Looking for a way to introduce fruits and veggies to your babies? What better way than to create art? Use fruit as stamps to paint and create impressions on paper. This is a great activity, especially for little babies.
Consider using food coloring and yogurt for paint for babes that still like to explore through their taste buds. As an edible activity the opportunities are endless, and so are the snacks. The risks are lower too. Just make sure you’ve got some really sturdy paper.
Teaching numbers can be easier than you think, Mom. For children, think individual snack items on a poster board to help sort and count numbers. A large piece of poster board and a box of cheerios is a good way to get the kids fed and sorting out their favorite snack, counting them out, or stacking them up. The best part is that the kids will be so engrossed in their number activity that they will forget they’re supposed to be learning, or that Mom had to take an important call.
6. Learning Apps, Cartoons
There are tons of learning apps that teach young children colors, numbers, the alphabet, and all around good skills, not to mention cartoons from “back in the day” that can even make parents reminisce of their childhood. Consider parking your little one behind the app or the TV and set a timer. Let them walk down your own memory lane or explore an app for some hands-on fun.
5. Interactive Books
Could you get your kids interested in books that have CDs or interactive buttons? Those are some of the best quiet activities. It can be hard to go wrong with a book.
But if your little one needs that extra push, pop in a read-along CD or audio track to make all the animal sounds or honking horns their little heart could desire. Those types of books can take a kid from reading to being transported into the story. What an adventure! Enjoy.
Why not take it back to the old days of the famous iPod? Sure now we have Beats and whatever other fun headphones the kids like these days, but giving the kids an appropriate playlist and some headphones can be the key to some peace and quiet, at least for a little while. Be careful not to allow any songs you don’t want the little ones hearing to enter in the mix. Parental safeguards are the best options when dealing with new technology and the kids.
3. Backyard/Balcony Fun
Staying cooped up in the house isn’t good for anyone, especially the kids. If you have a sitting room just off of an outdoor area, consider setting up that space for your “home office” so the kids can get some sun while you get some work done.
This is even great for little babies. While they are rolling on the mat and getting some fresh air you can be in arms reach, taking care of business.
2. Get Messy
No one said that getting messy had to be a bad thing necessarily. Give your kids a place to get really messy. You’d be surprised how long being a mess can occupy them and keep them quiet all at the same time. Try to keep the mess area isolated and covered in plastic or another easy to clean material. Access to a hose is always an amazing time saver.
1. Little People, Big Activities
When in doubt, set your little one up in front of their own conference call, so they too feel like they’re a part of the fun. Whether it’s calling grandma and grandpa or just a virtual playdate, set your little one up for some personal one on one time. You’d be surprised how much a silly and somewhat unfamiliar face can distract and occupy your little.
The next time you’re busy working from home, let Caribu be your virtual babysitter! Invite a friend or relative to read with your child in a Caribu video-call, or play some of our Video Read Alouds while you finish your to-do list. Download the Caribu app to get started, and share it with friends and family so you can connect and support each other from a safe social distance.
You can read the original article on BabyGaga.
Mel Bailey, 10 Ways To Keep The Kids Quiet During Conference Calls, June 2nd, 2020, https://www.babygaga.com/kids-quiet-conference-calls-tips/.