21 Clever Ways to Keep Kids Busy (So You Can Finally Work on Your Blog!)

Posted by Elna on

I started blogging when my twins weren’t yet two years old. I’ve learned over the years how to fit my blogging, freelance writing clients, course creation, and – at one time – coaching as a mom to twins.

How do you keep your kids busy so you can finally start your blog?

While my twins have each other to play with, most of the time they argue when they play (mostly over what to play with since my son loves Rescue Bots and Batman while my daughter is into LOL Dolls and Barbies), so I’ve had to come up with clever ways to keep my children occupied so that I can grow my blog and income.

There are a lot of stay at home moms that want to start a blog – and you should! – but may have some apprehension if it’s really possible to start a successful blog with a child or small children.

It is!

You have to fit your blog around your day to day as a mom. I have set blogging times and mom times.

This year, my twins started kindergarten, so I do have more time to blog, but summer is coming!

For many moms, the summer is hectic, crazy and busy. How can you work on your blog during the summer when you have kids – or twins – to entertain?

In this blog post I give you 21 fun ways to keep your toddler or child busy while you work at home or during the summer – while you blog. A warning – a lot of these activities can be messy.

These activities can also be for smaller children, but you have to be near them at all times.

I tended to stay in the kitchen while my twins played or in the living room with my laptop!

I also give you 56 blogging tasks and self-care tasks you can do in 5, 10, and 20 minute chunks of time.

See if you can use some of these activities to keep your little one busy while you work!

1. Give Them a Busy Book

Have you seen these busy books on Pinterest! They’re darling and so cute and can give you at least 15 minutes of blogging time!

I prefer the no sew books like the one from Uplifting Mayhem.

When I worked with special needs children I used to make file folder activities and these work similar to the busy books that you can give to children as young as 3 years old!

2. Ice Cubes

My twins love playing with ice cubes. Whether it’s the dead of winter or in the middle of summer, I just need to give them bowls, ice cubes, cups, and spoons and they can go to town for a good 20 minutes!

3. Science Experiment

I haven’t done these experiments yet, but they look amazing, don’t they? My twins are five years old, so these experiments look like they should be good if I modify them for my twins or supervise.

I think I’ll do these experiments with them first and then probably give them dish soap, food coloring, and water and let them have fun with that while I blog for a bit.

4. Set Up a Sensory Bin

When my twins were little – 2 or 3 years old – I had a sensory bin made up of beans, spoons, and cups. My twins never ate the beans – they actually never put little objects in their mouths – and they just had fun exploring textures.

I would sit next to them with my laptop and get a good 30 minutes of work.

5. Give Them a Box

If you come across a cardboard box, hand it over to your child or children. They will have a blast designing and playing in a box. My twins use them for rocket ships, forts, hiding places, grocery carts and more.

6. Stay, Play and Walk Away

I love Cas from Clutterbug.

She has great ideas to keep kids busy all day long. One of her tips is the stay, play and walk away approach to playing. What you do is set up an activity, and you stay with them for a few minutes playing.

Then, when your little one is absorbed in play, you step away. I’ve done this with my twins, and they don’t even know I’m gone for a good 10 minutes! And, even when they do realize it, they keep on playing!

This is a great activity for closer to 4 years old but can work for younger children if independent play is strong.

7. Bathtub Play

What kid doesn’t like water?

When the day is long, and I feel I did nothing that day, all I have to do is fill up the bathtub with a little bit of water, put some fizzy bath tablets in the water and give my twins bath markers and their toys and they’re good to go for a 45 minutes at least!

It gives me a mini-break (even if I am in the bathroom with them!) and I can blog!

8. Dance Party

When the weather is cold, it’s tempting to sit all day and stay in the house, but that’s not healthy. Instead, why not use some activity DVDs and have a dance party?

If you have little ones – under 2 years old – Elmocize can give your some distraction-free time while your little one has fun running around!

9. Build a Fort

My twins are always asking me to build them a fort. We have big comforters, and I can make a decent fort for them!  The twins pretend it’s a cave or a secret hiding spot and I can get at least 15 minutes of work time!

10. Have Quiet Time

Use a visual timer or hourglass and give your little one some quiet activities like a busy book, file folders, puzzles, legos or blocks and see if you can get at least 20 minutes of solid work time.

For some children, this may not work. My twins had a hard time with quiet time, but I know for other moms, it worked, and they could fit a chunk of blogging time.

11. Playdough

Ahh, playdough!

My daughter LOVES playdough. Her favorite is the My Little Pony set and the food + oven set.

When my twins were younger – around 3 years old – I usually played playdough with them since they needed help using these tools. If you want some independent time, I would avoid using sets and just use cookie cutters and plastic knives for play.

But, if your child is four and older, playdough sets can keep your little one entertained for a while!

12. Painting

If mess doesn’t bother you, then let your little one have fun with paint! I give my twins poster board and paints and let them create their masterpieces!

And, if the mess does bother you, my twins also enjoy using water paint!

13. Paper and Scissors

If you have older children – 4 or 5 year olds – why not give them some paper and scissors? I can be in the kitchen getting supper ready, and when I turn around I see my daughter snipping away on a scrap of paper.

It dawned on me that if I gave her paper to cut, this could occupy her time – and give me kid-free blogging time or cooking time!

14. Ball of Yarn

If your child is older – 4 and up – a ball of yarn is sure a lot of fun!

I found this by mistake when my twins decided to raid my knitting bag!

They pulled out the old yarn I used to make their baby hats (Yes, I amazed myself with my beginner knitting skills!). My twins would try to unravel the yarn or make a maze with the string. It was messy, but it gave me time to work!

15. Puzzles

I sometimes use puzzles as an independent activity, but I usually end up playing with them since they need help with the more advanced puzzles (since other ones are too easy for them and they finish in a minute!).

But, for little ones, this might be a great activity to keep their hands busy and give you some time to focus on your blog.

16. Give Them a Popsicle

When my twins had soccer in the spring, I would make them popsicles for after the game.

I realized that it takes them a good 15 minutes to eat them! Time to blog mama!

17. Do a Picnic

This is sort of a sit, play and walk away activity but why not give your child’s snack as a picnic in the living room?

Set up the blanket and have them invite their stuffies and give them their snack in some fancy china?

18. Pillow Fun

I don’t know about your child, but if I lay down a whole bunch of pillows, blankets, stuffies in the middle of the living room, my twins would find something to do with them!

19. Lacing Cards

Did you know you can make your own lacing cards? Powerful Mothering has a simple tutorial with materials you probably have around the house!

If All Else Fails

There will be days when nothing is going right.

Your little one spills his milk on the rug right after you tidied up the living room. Or, your dog ate your shoe or your little one is teething, and nothing works to console him or her.

First, give yourself some grace!

You know during those tough days, you are not a mom blogger; you a mom first.

Be a mom and have intent to have a mom day. I have days like this all the time, and while I do get frustrated, I’ve learned to embrace it and give myself grace.

You can also ask for help.

This may be hard for many moms – it is for me! But, I had to learn in the first year of having twins that I NEEDED the help to be a happy mama.

I’m fortunate to have my husband work at home with me, so we divide our time to helping around the house and taking care of our twins.

There are days when my husband doesn’t touch his computer until 5 pm and, there are days when I only get 30 minutes to work on my business.

It happens, but if you can get help – take it! My in-laws come and play with my twins for the afternoon. Maybe you can ask your neighbor, a young girl down the street or family to play with your little one once or twice a week.

Offer to cook them supper in return!

And if all else fails, have device time. I feel it’s important to teach my twins how to use technology as I know this will be a big part of their lives when they grow up. And well, if they see mom and dad on the laptop, I can’t discriminate, right?

I give my twins iPad time when I need time to myself so that I can be a better mama to them!

Blog Tasks By the Minute

There will be days when you can only fit five minutes here or 20 minutes there. What can you do to push your blog further so that time is not wasted?

Here are some blogging tasks you can do on the fly and tasks you can do when you have more time.

5 Minute Blogging Tasks (+ Self Care Tips)

  • Create a pin image
  • Think of a blog topic
  • Write down your blogging ideas on a post-it or your phone
  • Think of ways to repurpose a blog post
  • Add a YouTube video to your blog post
  • Add a GIF image to a blog post
  • Draft up an email
  • Answer emails
  • Comment on a blog post
  • Answer a Facebook question in a group
  • Promote a blog post on your Facebook page
  • Create a poll in a Facebook group
  • Find out your popular posts in Google Analytics
  • Think of a new email freebie
  • Fill your Tailwind queue
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Do 25 jumping jacks
  • Listen to your favorite song

10-15 Minute Blogging Tasks (+ Self Care Tips)

20-30 Minute Blogging Tasks (+ Self Care Tips)

  • Start an email list
  • Think of the lessons for a free email course
  • Draft your weekly email
  • Write the introduction and the beginning of your latest blog post
  • Create slides for a course lesson
  • Make a guest post marketing plan – where to guest post and draft email
  • Reach out to guest speak on a podcast
  • Finish a blog post
  • Come up with a course idea or eBook idea
  • Create a Facebook Live or YouTube video
  • Reach out to other bloggers for collaboration projects
  • Go back to old blog posts and fix broken links
  • Go back to old blog posts and add affiliate links
  • Go back to old blog posts and optimize your blog posts for growing your email list
  • Go for a walk
  • Email a friend
  • Eat lunch with a friend
  • Have a play date with your little one

You Can Be a Mom and Blog Too!

Running a business and blog is a challenge, but it can work out!

I hope you find these activities to keep your child entertained and busy helpful!

Let me know mom blogger, what YOU do to occupy your child’s time so you can blog! I want to know!