Answering work calls or getting on the phone with your team with a noisy toddler in the background is never ideal. We laugh remembering the viral video where a toddler and a baby interrupted a BBC live news interview, but this is an everyday reality for a lot of us.
We’ve put together some low effort activities (which are easy to set up) to keep your child busy while you attend to work calls.
1. A colouring station: Set up an area at your desk or next to it as a colouring/crafts station that keeps them busy while you connect with your team or your manager. This station should be stocked with the basics – crayons, sharpies, glue, white/colourful paper and some dried macaroni (for starters!). Ask them to create something for you while you’re on the phone so it gives them a sense of focus. Gesture to encourage them every now and then.
2. Copycat: Setup a fake keyboard or phone next to your desk so your child can mimic what you’re doing and feel like they’re working too!
3. Painting with water: If you don’t want to find a mess when you’re done with your call, give the kids a bucket of water and challenge them to paint the entire fence. (Don’t have a fence? You can do the same thing with your walls. Pin up a plastic sheet or baking paper on a section of your walls and have them ‘paint’ that with water!). Too cold for water play? Our littles love these reusable paint with water books.
4. Origami: An activity that keeps them quiet as well as engages your child’s hand-eye coordination and motor development – a twofer! All you need are sheets of colourful paper and the instructions in a book or online. We’ve picked out our favourite website to save you the Google search!
5. Threading things into things: Kids love doing this. You can switch up the challenge level depending on how old they are. If you have pipe cleaners handy, you can make an activity out of threading beads into them or for under fours, threading the pipe cleaners into a kitchen colander. Older children, with more developed motor skills, will love the challenge of threading beads into string or wool. Either way, you will have colourful jewellery waiting for you when you’re done with an important (and possibly stressful) work call.
6. Daily checklist: Setting up a daily checklist for your child with some goals for the day might be a good way to set up their time when they’re at home and you’re working your way through a busy call schedule. (Here’s one that we like to use!).
The best part about all these activities is that you can get organised with stuff you have around the house. What other activities do you engage the kids to achieve some quiet?
Written by the Circle In team.