by Cynthia Parker-M.ED.
With young children, working to get simple tasks such as a meal prepped, the dishwasher loaded or bills paid can seem like a daunting task. Sure, you can do some of it after your child goes to bed, but after a long day at work, you are tired too! You try and do some things during the day, but keeping an eye on your curious little one poses distraction. Here are few simple tricks to keep your child safe and busy to give you the few minutes you need to get something done without relying on the TV as your babysitter:
- Get a dishpan (found at any Dollar Tree store) and add sensory items for your child to explore right on the floor next to you. The dishpan keeps it contained to a small area, makes it quick and easy to clean up as well as store. You can add in play dough, a small amount of soapy water and play dishes or Duplo blocks.
- Give your child a work station too! When you are on your computer paying your bills, pull out an old keyboard, pad of paper, envelopes and stickers for your child to work.
- Crayola Model Magic (for children who are no longer oral) offers sensory fun and creativity that does NOT stick to furniture and clothing.
- Have a pots and pans band. With a few old pots and a wooden spoon your child can make music!
The key to these simple ideas being a success is to take them out during the times you need a few minutes to get something done. The novelty of them will keep them engaged. At the same time, you will have a few minutes, be able to still safely supervise your child and a quick clean up!