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50 Surefire Ways to Entertain Your Kid While You’re Working

Every parent has likely been in a situation where a child is asking for attention but you have too much on your plate to do so. So you need to quickly occupy your kid with something to do in order for you to complete your tasks. This list of fun activities will come in handy for such emergencies. Some of these ideas can be adapted for toddlers, while others will work perfectly on older schoolchildren.

Bright Side reminds you that you should always monitor what your toddler is doing. Some games require certain preparation and the results will surprise you!

  • Give the child a couple of markers and a cardboard box. Let them paint it the way they see fit.
  • Conduct an experiment. Pour some water into a basin and give the child different items. Let them discover which of them will sink and which will remain on the surface.
  • Put doll clothes in the basin filled with water and ask the child to “wash” them.
  • Have a birthday party for a toy. Let the child arrange it themselves (you can prepare birthday hats, toy cookware, and balloons).
  • Put your old necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry in a box and let the child sort out the items.
  • Take a wide-neck bottle and crumple a newspaper into a ball. Ask your child to try to throw the ball into the bottle.
  • Give the child cardboard cores, pencils, and colored paper, and ask them to make something unusual using these items (this game is suitable for older children who can use templates from the Internet).
  • Take finger paint, put the child in a bathtub (it should be dry and without water), and let them paint on its sides. Then take a picture of the result and wash it off with water.
  • Take thick thread and ask the child to wind them on markers, coils, and other things. If you prepare cardboard templates in the shape of snakes, worms or any other funny characters in advance, this activity will be even more fun.
  • Make a light box for drawing with sand with your own hands. Let the children enjoy the magic for as long as they’d like.
  • Make some paper boats and let the child use a blanket as the sea (they can easily make “waves” with it).
  • Give the child balloons and some paint. Depending on the age, they can inflate balloons themselves or you can do it for them. The child can draw anything on them.
  • Take a small box and turn it into a “cabin” for a toy; cut out the “window” and the “door”. Attach it to a rope using any hook or clothespin to make it look like a ropeway. Put a toy inside the “cabin” and send the “cabin” on a journey along the cableway (the ends of the rope can be secured in the different corners of the room).
  • Offer a child to drink tea from real apples: cut out the middle of an apple and pour your favorite tea in it.
  • Give your child clean vegetables and fruits and ask them to imagine they’re working in a grocery store (use toys so they can be customers and cashiers).
  • Give the child some foil (use the kind that is suitable for baking) and ask them to make a crown or decorations out of it.
  • Have a pajama party! If you have sleeping bags, lay them on the floor. If not — blankets will do too.
  • Make the child an interior designer. Give them a pen and some paper and let them draw a plan for a furniture rearrangement. The most successful ideas can even be implemented!
  • If you have dried flowers and leaves, have your child make a herbarium.
  • Invite your child to draw comics. A story can be about anything. For example, it can be dedicated to the child’s favorite superhero.
  • Spread a large piece of paper on the floor and ask the child to draw a line with a marker. Then say that this is a new race track and let the kid take a toy car and drive it along the line.
  • Give the child many plastic cups so they can use them to bring pyramids, fortresses, towers and other ideas that come into their head to life.
  • Take tape or thread and attach them in the corridor in such a way so that they resemble laser beams from spy movies. Invite children to have fun going through this maze (just like in a movie).
  • Put a hoop in the middle of the room and give the child a chance to improve their accuracy. They can throw airplanes or balls of paper into it. You can assign a sweet prize if the child hits a certain spot.
  • Tell your child to imagine that they’re in school or in kindergarten. Give them a lot of toys and let the child take care of them: they can teach them, put them to sleep, and do other everyday activities.
  • If you are busy cleaning, give the child a damp cloth and show the area where their help is needed. Don’t forget to clearly define the area they should stay in!
  • Ask the child to wipe the mirror. Besides the fact that they will have the opportunity to have a lot of fun, this activity will also bring real benefits.
  • Pour water into a basin and put toy fish there (or any non-sinking toys will do). Give the child a skimmer and suggest fishing.
  • Play “the game of ships”. Suggest that the children make paper boats or use walnut shells for this purpose.
  • Do you remember how we used to imagine that the floor was lava? The main rules of this game are still the same, you just need to mark “the islands of security” on the floor. For example, using cardboard sheets and hot pads.
  • Give the child a piece of paper, a brush, and some paint. Suggest drawing a picture, holding the brush with their toes.
  • Bring tree leaves home and ask children to write letters to each other.
  • Suggest building a fortress using pillows, blankets, and other available materials.
  • Try this slightly improved drawing game: draw a lot of squiggles on a sheet of paper and ask the child to draw a picture based on them.
  • Prepare notes with tasks and put them in different rooms. Arrange a quest for the children. For example, ask them to use a treasure map to find where the treasure is hidden.
  • Play “find the toy”. You can hide a toy in a prominent place, or if you want to occupy the child for a longer time, choose a secluded location.
  • Take some old DVDs and let the children paint them.
  • Take all the magnets off the fridge and let the child rearrange them the way they want.
  • Give the child a stack of magazines and offer to cut out the coolest pictures from them. It is better to use scissors and magazines for children.
  • Ask your child to make a collage. They can cut out their favorite pictures from the same magazines (for example, they can stick to a certain topic) and then glue them onto a sheet of paper.
  • Let the child make snowflakes from napkins.
  • Puzzles: have your child cut a card into several pieces and then put it back together.
  • Make a “bucket of secrets” by putting things that a child can play with into a bucket. The main rule is that you should use a lot of things so it takes a lot of time to take all of them out.
  • Take clothes out of the closet and have your child try on different outfits.
  • Give the child socks and tell them that they need to be rearranged by color. Let them find a pair for each one.
  • Offer the child to become the head of the train. Help them imagine that chairs are the train and put their toys on them as if they were passengers.
  • Roll up the carpet and offer the child to drive cars through the tunnel.
  • Give your child kerchiefs, glasses, and hats and ask to show you various characters with the clothing.
  • Have your child pack a backpack for traveling.
  • Turn your child into a stylist. Give them different clothes they can put on their toys and ask them to arrange a fashion show.

Do you use any other games to distract your children? Let us know in the comments!

Preview photo credit teachpreschool / instagram