While it used to be that most parents worked away from home five days a week, today more and more people are taking advantage of flexible hours and the ability to work from home. Of course, working from home isn’t always as easy as it may sound, especially if you’ve got young kids at home. It can be difficult for kids to understand that even though you’re at home, you are in fact working and really can’t be disturbed.
With that said it’s, always a good idea to have a variety of quick and easy games in mind that will keep the kids busy and buy you some time to get your work done. Here’s a look at a number of 15-minute games that are bound to keep the kids entertained, happy, and out of your hair while you work:
When it comes to classic kids’ games, it doesn’t get more classic than bingo. Part of what makes this game so great is the fact it can be played by such a wide range of ages. Whether you choose to make your own bingo game, or pick one up at a store, this game is quick to set up, easy to understand, and fun to play. Don’t forget this game takes at least two players.
If you want to add an extra element of fun, look around for themed bingo games. You can find bingo games that use words, shapes, animals, pictures of children’s characters, etc.
Jigsaw puzzles are another simple and quick game that kids can enjoy on their own. What’s great about this activity is that it’s a quiet game. Kids will be completely immersed in trying to solve the puzzle, while mom or dad have peace and quiet to get their work done. It’s a win-win situation.
At the same time, it should be noted that puzzles are excellent for your brain. It’s a wonderful way to encourage creativity, concentration, mental alertness, fine motor, and visualization skills.
For kids who are a bit older, think ages five and up, beading can be an excellent activity. This one takes a bit of preparation on your end, but once you create a kit then you’re good to go. A beading kit should contain a variety of beads in all different shapes, colors, and sizes, some string or beading wire, a tray for sorting the beads (it should have various divided sections), and a storage container for everything to be kept organized in.
Treasure Hunt in a Jar
Because you don’t likely have time to run around the house and set up a treasure or scavenger hunt, you may want to think about pre-making some treasure hunt jars. This activity works great with kids ages three and up.
All you need is a large jar with a lid that is filled with rice. Within the jar you can hide small items and then make a list of them. Kids can then use tweezers to locate the items, and pull them out of the jar, checking them off the list as they go. You can make up a variety of themed jars in advance bringing out one at a time. Just give it a good shake before kids take over.
Word Search Puzzles
Word search puzzles are another excellent example of an activity that helps to build a variety of skills, yet keeps kids quiet and occupied. You can either pick up a word search puzzle book or create a book of your own by printing off free word search puzzles that are readily available online.
One tip to remember with this activity is that you want to pick puzzles that are appropriate for their vocabulary level. They should be able to read and understand the words they are looking for.
Fill Up the Tablet with Learning-Based Apps
Let’s face it, we live in the digital age which means your household likely has a computer, tablet, laptop, or some other type of smart device. If so, then it’s a good idea to load a variety of learning-based apps on it for the kids. To make sure that kids stay engaged and interested, you can change up the apps every month or so. Of course, if they have a favorite app then you can always keep it.
Other Activities to Keep Kids Busy While You Work
Here’s a quick list of other things they can do as well.
- Play with toy trains
- Kick a ball around the backyard
- Painting and Drawing
- Block building
- Farm animals
Give Yourself the Time You Need
By relying on quick and simple games such as these, you will be making sure the kids stay happy and entertained, which means you’ll have time to get your work done.
Emily Morris is a mom of two little boys. She has had a lot of fun and studied so much together while playing toys with her kids. She started a blog called KidsToysGo.com to share with other people her experiences about how to choose the right toys for their kids.