Guest Post: 10 Ways to keep toddlers busy so Mom can get some work done!

I am so excited to have Ashley from Navigating Homeschool as a guest today. She has some great activities to keep your toddler busy while you work. I know I'll be trying some of these out with my youngest. Her post comes at a perfect time because so many more parents are trying to work from home during the COVID pandemic.

Guest Post: 
10 ways to keep toddlers busy so Mom can get some work done!

All of us moms are insanely busy. It never seems like our to-do list ever ends, and if you are a working mom, you need to have that time to focus. Have you tried to entertain your toddler so you can get things accomplished, but it didn't seem to work? Well, today I want to share with you 10 different ideas to keep your toddler busy, so you can get things done!

1. Give them different items to transfer. Pom poms and bottles, spoons, paper roll, etc.

Young children love transferring things and putting small items into other objects. Give them some pom poms and a bottle. Let them fill it up and then try to get them back out. You could even give them two different bins and a spoon for them to transfer them. There are tons of things you can do with pom poms.

2. Playdoh

Playdoh is such an amazing resource. It helps strengthen those little hands for future activities. You can find several different playdoh mats on Pinterest. These are a great addition to your playdoh collection.

3. Car mat

You could create a quick car mat for your little one to drive on. All you would need is a large construction board and some markers. The lines don't have to be perfect! Add some different lines for the cars to follow and some colored parking spots. As a bonus, take some of your child's toys to place around the mat as some landmarks!

4. Box with crayons

Do you have any large boxes you recently received from a package? If so, hand your child some crayons and ask them to draw you a vehicle. After they completed drawing and if they come running to your feet, tell them to go drive their new car around the house!

5. Noodles and string

Almost everyone has a box of pasta in their house. Hopefully, you carry some of the hollow ones. If you do, grab some string, a few handfuls of pasta, and give them to your child to make a necklace or noodle rope. Don't forget to tie a large knot at the bottom of the string.

6. Bubble wrap

This is a super simple activity. We had leftover bubble wrap from Christmas that I decided to keep to reuse for another package. Instead, I decided to give it to my kids. It's not what I wanted to use it for, but it enabled me to get some things accomplished around the house. Do you remember the pure bliss of popping those tiny bubbles as a little kid?

7. Sticky wall

A sticky wall is a great way to keep young children entertained while you focus on your important task. All you need is some adhesive protection liner and some items they can use to stick. When placing the protection liner against the wall, chair, or whatever you are using. Fold the sides of the protective liner, so they stick to your desired surface. If you are worried about pulling paint off of the wall, you can use painter tape. Ask them to create a scene on the wall for you to see whenever you are done with your task!
Here are a few items for a sticky wall
  • pom poms
  • foam letters
  • sticks, leaves, and flowers
  • stripes of paper
  • cereal, noodles, etc
  • small toys
8. Sensory bins

Young kids love playing with things they have not seen before or in a long period. They also enjoy messes, but sensory bins do not have to be a complete mess. Of course, there are going to be some things (or all of the stuff) that falls out of the bin from them playing. However, you can choose to make a sensory bin out of items that do not make a huge mess, as rice or beans would. We do rice and bean sensory bins frequently and let me tell you... My husband just loves finding rice and beans weeks later (not!).
Here are a few ideas you could use for a little less messy sensory bin.
  • Pom poms
  • cotton balls
  • scarfs
  • thick scraps of paper

9. Crayola magic markers coloring kit

These are perfect for the times you need to focus on something. Let's face it when you hand a kid a crayon or marker there is a good chance they are going to color on something they shouldn't.

These markers will not draw on anything besides the special paper! We use them whenever we are traveling or eating out at a restaurant. They are completely awesome.

10. Knock over towers

Another favorite is knocking over paper towels or toilet paper. If you have any of these items with the plastic wrapping still on them, show your kids how to set them up and give them a light ball they can knock them over with. My kids always make a b-line for the packs of toilet paper whenever I bring them in the house. They love stacking up these larger, light items and knocking them down!

Final Thoughts...

Busy moms need time to get things done and I know we don't want our children sitting with a screen in their faces all day. Give some of these ideas a try. It may take some time to figure out what activities really entertain them. They may even look at one activity for only a few minutes or they finish it quickly. In case that happens, set up a backup plan to hand them while you are working. Overall, I hope these ideas help you!

What is one of your child's favorite activities whenever you are busy? Tell me in the comments below!

Meet Ashley!

Ashley is the writer of this post. She has a background in psychology and is a homeschooling mom of two young children. They strive to learn through play. Her homeschooling method is more relaxed and enjoyable. You can find more of her content at