8 ways to keep a single child occupied at home

Many children find it difficult to focus on a single task or activity for long, as they get easily distracted. This is one of the factors that make it difficult for many parents to maintain decorum at home when their little ones are around, especially that pre-school aged. Things get even worse if you are a work-at-home mum that needs all the quietness and concentration you can get. But not to worry, in this article, you will learn about eight amazing activities that can help keep your restless kid busy for hours so that you can commit yourself to other essential tasks at home.

A cute girl holding camera

1 Picture books

Your kids can benefit a lot from picture books. It can keep them engaged for several hours. Next time you go shopping, buy one and just let it glance through while you concentrate on other important aspects of your life. No doubt, the pictures will keep him preoccupied for hours. And there’s no need to guide the child or tell him what the pictures actually represent. Just let him figure that out by himself. Picture books can improve visual literacy skills in a very effective way. The content can also teach how to synchronize the structure and sequence of a story. More importantly, the contents of picture books can strongly encourage creative thinking.

2. TV is not so bad

Too much of television may not be the best idea, but watching interesting and educative programs on TV can transform your child into a truly ingenious person. It also keeps him preoccupied so that you can have adequate time for other important tasks of the day. Your little ones can learn about various subjects via the TV, like things, animals and places without having to leave the comfort of your home. Moreover, you can always activate parental guidance so that the access will be granted only to really quality programs. Also, make sure that the distance to the TV screen is appropriate and little eyes won’t be tired too soon.

3. Invite his friend or cousin over

Kids can play all day when they are in the company of their peers. If any of his friends or cousins of the same age group are available, you can invite them over to your house so that they can play together. Alternatively, you can take your kid to the house of that friend or cousin, provided the other parent is cool about that arrangement. Naturally, always make sure an adult is present to keep an eye on the whole situation. An adult person can guide them and prevent any accident or mishap. You also should know that relations with other individuals can broaden the knowledge base and imagination level.

4. Coloring pages

It’s time to go shopping. Buy coloring books (or just download them from Topcoloringpages.net) and a lot of crayons or color pencils. Sit the child down and ask him to paint or draw anything he likes in the book. A coloring page doesn’t just keep a child busy but also promote his mental development. For example, using the coloring pages will develop both sides of the brain and helps to assimilate better. Moreover, it can be very beneficial when a time for going to school finally comes. Coloring keeps people in a meditative and thoughtful state for hours, which will further improve his ability to understand concepts. So pick the right pictures according to kid’s interests. If it’s a boy then there’s a big chance that he will fancy cars or dinosaurs coloring sheets. Girls, on the other hand, will prefer Barbie or Frozen coloring pages.

Palm of a child and paints

5. Sorting

Sorting can compel to think deep. In the end, the child will get wiser and smarter than many kids of the same age group. Give him a group of similar objects and ask him to categorize these objects. For example, you can give him a box filled with vehicles and ask him to sort them into construction vehicles, emergency trucks, and race cars and so on. Also, you can let the child organize loose change into copper, silver and so on. Make sure the vehicles or changes are many so that the kid can get busy for a long time organizing them. You can keep him interested for hours by compensating his effort periodically.

6. Busy box

If you are looking for the perfect way to keep a little person occupied while cooking dinner, then this is the perfect thing to do. All you need for a busy box are ribbon, pencil and a box. This toy is cheaper than any other you may ever come by. And it can be surprisingly effective for some time. Aside from entertaining and time-consuming values, the busy box can also be used as a home-school. It equally has a therapeutic effect. You must bear in mind that this form or entertainment rarely keeps the kids busy for as long as many of the other ideas described above. Be that as it may, it can be engaging for that precious ten minutes you need for folding laundry or making dinner.

Your busy box idea can take different forms. You can use any of the items highlighted below:

  • Fabric scraps
  • Stuffed toys
  • Musical instruments
  • Recycled lids
  • Wooden toys
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Books
  • Beads
  • Balls
  • Discovery bottles
  • Fabric circles

7. Water to the rescue

We can make use of water in hundreds of different ways! And most of the young people love to play with it. Water can keep them very busy and preoccupied for as long as you want. Just sit the kid on a chair or footstool close to the kitchen sink. Run water into the sink and plug the drainage. You can add other items to the sink, like measuring cups, spoons, suds, and sponges. This idea is the perfect choice if you want to stay indoors all day long.

8. Kitchen staple reimagined

Your kid will fall in love with the idea of opening the kitchen cabinets and emptying their contents. You can include a colander to the mix to make it even more exciting and interesting for a long, long time. You can weave pipe cleaners in and out of the little holes and leave kids to pull out the ends and stick them back in.


All the activities mentioned above can keep your kids busy for hours on end. The items required for each of the tasks will not cost you an arm and a leg. Consequently, you can achieve your goals and have some extra free time at almost no cost. Are you a work-at-home mum and you need some tranquillity to do your job? Well, you should definitely employ some of the strategies described above.