by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated
Do you need a few more minutes to concentrate? Are you finding it hard to focus with a two-year-old climbing in your lap? This is a challenge many work-at-home moms face while their children are young. Here are five items you may already have to entertain your toddler in a pinch:
Most of us have seen a toddler open a gift only to find the box more interesting than the present so thoughtfully tucked inside. Hang on to a few empty boxes of varying size, and pull them out when your child is bored. Set up large boxes as a fort, or open the ends to make a tunnel. Smaller boxes make a great bed for stuffed animals, target for balls or beanbags, or can be used for sorting games.
Young children love the crisp sound of tissue paper rustling in their hands. Set aside some gift wrapping tissue, and give it to your child when he is bored. Let him crinkle, cover and tear, while you meet your deadlines. Just be prepared for a bit of a mess later.
A little tape, some crayons, and your toddler’s imagination add up to reusable fun. Make your own flash cards by having your child draw on index cards. If you have some time, cut pictures she likes from old magazines or use pictures of your family. Tape the pictures to the cards, and cover them with clear contact paper to use again and again.
An assortment of paper bags can be hours of fun for your little one. Large bags can be used to play grocery store, or as a target for tossing soft balls or bean bags. Smaller bags come in handy for making puppets. Have your child decorate the puppet, and then show him how to make his new toy talk using his hand.
Old Greeting Cards
The next time there is a birthday in your house, save a few of the greeting cards, along with their envelopes. Toddlers love the brightly decorated cards and will have fun taking them in and out of their envelopes. Pair them with a shoe “mail” box, and the two of you can open your mail together.