I’m not sure how many weeks we’ve been in quarantine, but I’ve been thinking of any and every activity I can do with the kiddos to keep them occupied. Trying to get work done, homeschool and keep Olivia busy without getting into all the things has given juggling a whole new meaning!
It’s slightly easier with Solomon, as he’s a lot more self-sufficient and pretty much entertains himself if he’s not playing with Olivia. My three-year-old is a different story. Our old routine involved her going to daycare two days a week from about 9am-3pm. Those are the days I’d schedule my client sessions or catch up on work. It was a great balance of time where she could play with kids her age and time that I had to myself. Now, it’s all changed.
So, here’s what I’m doing to keep her occupied while we navigate this stay at home life:
1. Stick to a routine
From my experience, toddlers thrive off of routines. Olivia wants to eat at the same time, play at the same time and nap at the same time. When it’s consistent, she expects it and doesn’t protest as much. It also helps me plan out the day and plan what she’ll do while I’m working or helping Solomon with schoolwork.
It took a little while to get our new routine down, but now we’re in a groove!
2. Work next to them while they play
Where are my fellow work at home moms? I see you and you’re in my thoughts! Work has slowed down a bit, now that I’m not able to shoot with my clients, but I’m still working on product photography projects and selling digital products! So, I still have to find pockets of time throughout the day to get work done.
What’s worked for me is bringing my laptop into the space where she’s playing, or let her sit next to me and play on her tablet while I work in my bedroom. If I’m sitting in my workspace, she’ll watch her favorite show on the couch or color on the floor. When Solomon is in his live class for school, we’ll often sit out on the patio and I’ll work from there while she plays with her chalk.
3. Enforce naptime
I don’t know what I’d do without naptime! I created a nap routine with her very early on, so she doesn’t protest as much. Of course there are days when she wants to play a little longer, but I reassure her she can play when she wakes up. Naptime is when I power through more focused work, so it’s a must for us!
4. Play with them undistracted
I notice when Olivia wants the most attention is when I’m distracted with work. After I give her MY undivided attention, she’ll give me space. Here are some activities we do together (and she also enjoys independently):
What are your toddler’s favorite activities right now?