Working From Home {6 Ways to Keep Your Kids Healthy & Happy}


Working From HomeWorking from home (WFH) while simultaneously taking care of your kids feels a lot like running a race. You’re riding down the Churchill Downs track with people closing in on either side of you. All you want is to push through and get to the finish line. Only you’re not facing pushy riders, but your chaotic kids, and the finish line is completing your work for the day with everyone in one piece.

Unlike winning the Kentucky Derby, your goal isn’t some pipe dream. With the right tactics in your bag of tricks, you can successfully WFH with kids and keep them healthy and happy. Keep your kids busy at home with these helpful tips.    

1. Make Food in Advance 

The one thing you can count on with kids is their inconvenient hunger cues. They’ll inevitably wait until you start a meeting or are in the middle of a project to beg for snacks. Making lunch also takes precious time from your work day. 

Keep tummies full and happy without sacrificing work by prepping meals and snacks in advance. Leftovers you can microwave or homemade Lunchable-style foods are easy for your kids to access on their own or with minimal assistance. You can also make an assortment of grab-and-go snacks. Storing everything within their reach gives them some control and frees you up a bit. 

2. Use Screen Time Effectively

When your children are home sick from school, go ahead and let them lay on the couch with the TV and take naps all day. However, if you’re in a more prolonged WFH with kids situation, you need a better solution. Plopping them in front of screens all day, every day, will turn them into little zombies. You must find a healthy balance to keep your kids busy at home.

The best way to use screen time for your kids is to pair it with your busiest times of the day. Each morning, look over your schedule for any meetings or projects needing intense focus. When it comes time to tackle those tasks, hand your kids the iPad, TV remote or game controller. You’ll get an hour of quiet to work and satiate their hunger for technology without going overboard.  

3. Schedule Outside Play

Kids need time to run around and play, expelling all their pent-up energy. When the weather’s nice, set yourself up with a small table and chair and breathe a little fresh air while you work. Is there anything better than making a living while hearing your kids’ laughter in the background? 

If your little ones aren’t old enough to play outside with minimal supervision, you can take breaks throughout the day to go with them. Close your computer and leave your phone behind. Spend 10-15 minutes fully present in the moment. You’ll return to work refreshed, and your kids might be so tired they’ll be ready for a rest.  

4. Go on a Field Trip

Sometimes a short break isn’t enough to keep your kids busy at home. On these occasions, flex your work time and get everyone out for a field trip. Make memories with your children visiting places they already know and love, like the Louisville Zoo, or someplace new and exciting, like the Kentucky Science Museum. 

Choose something close by so you don’t have to spend the whole day. Get away for just long enough to get everyone’s wiggles out and return home no longer stir-crazy. 

5. Create a Jar of Fun

No matter their age, when WFH with kids, you’ll hear constant complaints of boredom, expecting you to entertain them. When these situations arise, you can spend precious time thinking of games or activities or spend one evening making a jar of fun and not have to worry about it again. 

Use a mason jar or mug to hold a bunch of popsicle sticks. On each one, write something fun your kids could do without much help from you. Every time they whine about having nothing to do, simply point to the jar and have them choose an activity. 

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here. Choose simple things like color with crayons, try a board game or play with dolls. If you want to spice it up, you can put in a few extra fun options, like using dress-up clothes and their beds to play pirates. You could even sneak in a bit of housework by rubberbanding microfiber cloths to your kids’ shoes and letting them “ice skate” through the house — they won’t even realize they’re cleaning your floors as they go.  

6. Set Up a Play Date

Playdates keep your kids busy at home but aren’t entirely practical for WFH moms. You have enough on your plate with your own children, let alone trying to care for someone else’s. However, it could be a viable option if you have a flexible work schedule and can plan with other working moms to take turns watching the kids. 

Alternatively, plan in-person or virtual play dates with adults your children love. If you have a WFH husband, they can take a turn with the kids. Grandparents, aunts and uncles are also excellent choices for entertaining your children for a little while so you can focus and finish top-priority projects.  

*Give Yourself Grace

Happy, healthy kids are the goal of almost any parent. However, nobody can be happy all the time. When you’re WFH with kids, there’ll be times you can’t appease them no matter what you try. On these days, give yourself some grace, and remember the days when work went smoothly. Know this is a phase — tomorrow, it may be easier to keep your kids busy at home without issue. If your children are safe and loved, you’ve done your job. 


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