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28 Answers

I currently work from home one day a week and I have an almost 2 year old at home with me. My son is great at playing by himself and I’ll talk to him and go sit with him for short bursts to keep his interests up and so I don’t feel like I’m totally ignoring him. Does anyone have any suggestions on what activities I could set up for him that he could safely do on his own (with my supervision)?


Posted by bellina03, 21st June 2014


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  • Maybe some old fashioned colouring in books might keep him occupied for some time.


  • I’m in the same situation – I work from home on Mondays and my son is 2.5 yrs. I bought some masking tape and I taped out a road which went on the floor up the couch, across to the coffee table with a roundabout etc. I did this before he woke up. after he finished his breakfast he couldn’t wait to play “city”. He’s got a train set with some timber trees and people, as well as some plastic dinosaurs and he plays for a few hours without any hassles. He absolutely loved it. Another thing i do for him is having him sit next to me with a tray with a cup of uncooked rice. I give him measuring cups, spoons and little containers and he’s happy sitting near me while he measures and pours and pretends to cook etc. Easiest way to clean up any rice that makes its way on the floor is get out the dust-buster and it’s nice and tidy again.


  • my boy would play on the ipad all day if id let him. otherwise he loves trains. maybe join a toy library and get new stuff out all the time?


  • yeah can’t beat the lego lol


  • get tablet and get educational apps.

    make him up an activity box with toddler safe things inside and then let him play with that. if you get two boxes made up, you can alternate and replenish them to help keep his interest.

    lego is great!


  • Making box – recycling (boxes, glad wrap/paper towel tubes, margarines tubs, milk bottle lids) feathers, coloured paper, magazines, stickers and other items (check cheap as chips craft area) plus sticky tape and glue stick. create different items. maybe allow time for free exploration and then ask for something specific.
    Home made puppet theatre – material hanging from door frame and then puppets (make sock, pop stick or buy)


  • Grab some toys cheap from op shops. Puzzles, etc!


  • I would get maybe 3 different activities out for him. Help him start an activity before you start work then go and help with the next activity when he gets ratty. Activities like play dough, crayon drawing, Duplo, trucks/planes/cars, dress up box, dolls with stroller/crib, let him loose in the Tupperware cupboard, box of recycles boxes to play with. Can you take your work outside or let him outside by himself where you can still keep an eye on him? That would give you triple the time to work with activities like sandpit fun, puddle jumping, drawing in sand with sticks, watering plants with watering can, pretend lawn mowing, playing with rocks, stacking wood, bubble machine, chalk drawing on pavers. Good luck!


  • Maybe threading pasta / fruit loop necklaces, or a tub of dry rice or beans and some scoops and containers for him to fill. Or maybe print off some activity sheets and give him his ‘own work’ to do while mummy works?


  • I too feel guilty when they find their way to the TV, but books are good, and building blocks, depends on the type of work you do too, I need quiet to work which makes it difficult


  • chalk board and maybe something like a slide or jump-o-lene if you have room inside


  • A Playschool DVD will be a life saver for moments when you absolutely utterly need fifteen minutes of quiet. Don’t overuse it, though… Coloring books, drawing, and building blocks (eg Megablocks) do wonders for keeping my kids active but quietish for periods of time. Also consider a train set.


  • That must be hard working with a toddler home.


  • If he gets bored of playing, maybe get a cheap DVD player with some of his favourite shows to watch through the day. My daughter loves shows she interacts with lime the wiggles or pkayschool etc


  • Have you got an iPad ? You can put educational games on there to help him learn and the he thinks he is playing games.


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