Being a writer and a parent can often feel like working two jobs in opposition to one another. It can be so difficult to find the time or even be able to sit down and focus on your work! But fear not, parents, I'm here to help! Today I'm sharing ideas on how to keep kids occupied while you focus on writing!
Hold Your Place in Line!
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Ways to Keep Kids Busy So You Can Write
Come up with activities to help kids feel involved and like they're a valuable part of your writing process!
Invite kids to write their own stories along with you. Explain what you're working on, and then inquire about a writing project they'd like to work on. What would their story be about? Who's in it? Set them on a path to plan out and write their own narrative!
Explain that you have some very important writing to complete but confide in your child that you're worried you might be interrupted. Ask for your child's help to stop anyone from interrupting your writing by making signs to alert them that you're busy and that there's writing going on! My mom used this strategy on me as a kid, which worked like a charm.
Describe the concept of what you're working on to your child and ask them if they can do any drawing of key scenes to help you visualize them better.
Indoor Activities Kids Can Do While Parents Work
Here are some ideas for activities kids can do independently while you work.
Build a fort
Learn to solve a Rubik's Cube
Construct buildings or animals out of marshmallows and toothpicks (more ideas for this here)
Solve a puzzle
Have kids prepare a play or skit that they'll perform for you later when you're done working
Have them make jewelry out of cereal
Have kids organize their space
Provide kids with a sorting box, a box full of small items that can be sorted into groups based on size, color, or type
Sculpt scenes with modeling clay or Playdough
Outdoor Activities Kids Can Do While Parents Work
Feel like a change of scenery? Work from outside while your kids busy themselves with the following activities!
Have kids take care of a garden
Suggest an active game like soccer, kickball, or volleyball
Fly a kite
If its summer, set up a slip and slide or a sprinkler
Game of freeze tag
Give kids sidewalk chalk, and let them get creative with your driveway
Introduce them to jump roping or hula hooping
Give them a frisbee to toss around
Set them up to have a picnic outside
Online Activities to Keep Kids Busy
Use the internet to your advantage, and keep your kids busy with these online activities.
Using the internet is a great way to keep kids occupied but should always be done consciously. Screen time for kids should always be limited, ideally with exclusively educational content and with parents aware of exactly what their children are viewing. The American Academy for Pediatrics recommends these amounts of screen time for the following ages:
Up to 18 months: No screen time, except for video chats
18-24 months: Limited amounts of high-quality programming for children to engage with
2-5 years: Limit of 1 hour per day of high-quality programming; parents should be present and help children relate what they learn to the world around them
Ages 6 and up: Consistent limits should be placed on all media kids interact with, and media should not interfere with sleep, physical activity, or social activities
With that said, here are some engaging and educational videos that kids can watch!
Storybots uses music as the characters go on adventures to answer kids' questions. Best for kids 3-8.
Nat Geo Kids offers funny and interesting videos to help kids learn more about the world!
Sesame Street is a classic! The "Sesame Street" YouTube channel has clips of all the show's best moments teaching kids everything from science to safety to cooking.
Peekaboo Kidz utilizes animated videos to teach kids about science, math, and phonics.
Free School is a "safe and friendly place to expose children to famous art, classical music, children's literature, and natural science in an age-appropriate and kid-accessible way!"
Blippi is a fun channel for preschoolers, using interesting locations and backgrounds to engage with kids!
Cosmic Kids Yoga is a great YouTube channel that introduces kids to yoga, mindfulness, and relaxation via interactive adventures.
Homeschool Pop makes fun learning videos to engage elementary school-aged kids!
MinutePhysics For older kids interested in science, Minute Physics makes videos about physics and other science subjects that feel fun and easy to understand.
Prodigies Music Lessons is a YouTube channel that teaches young kids about music via interactive videos. Kids will learn about scales, the musical alphabet, and how to approach learning to play their first instrument.
Videos About Their Interests
One surefire way to keep kids occupied is by meeting them where their interests lie. Try finding videos based on what your kids are currently into!
Is your child interested in everything crafting? The videos over at KIDS crafts might be right up their alley!
Is your child a budding chef? Introduce them to videos over at America's Test Kitchen Kids to teach them about cooking and provide inspiration to try new things in the kitchen.
Maybe your kids are interested in podcasts! If that's the case, then give Radiolab for Kids a try! Radiolab for Kids contains family-friendly curated educational content!
Do you have a developing artist in the family? Then direct them over to Art for Kids Hub for art lessons! New episodes get uploaded daily, Monday through Friday, so there's always a new lesson for kids to explore.
Has your child expressed an interest in dance? Introduce them to SamCam's YouTube channel! SamCam creates free dance lesson videos for toddlers to adults, covering various kinds of dance, including hip-hop, jazz, tap, and ballet.
Hopefully, this list of activities has something on it to keep your kids occupied while you write! Don't be afraid to take a break and check in on what your kids are doing. Some of these activities are so fun and interesting that you can occupy the kids for hours. Happy writing!