The Busy Parent’s Guide to Entertaining your Child
Every parent needs some time out from entertaining their child, whether it’s to catch up on chores, day-to-day admin or work. For many parents, though, finding ways to keep their child distracted can cause something of a dilemma. TV and computer games might be okay in short bursts but aren’t always the best long-term solutions. The good news is that there are a number of safe, fun ways to keep your child happy (phew!). From a baby bouncer to crafts and activities for older kids, here are a few options.
Baby bouncers are a terrific way to keep a baby over four months old entertained while you get some household chores or admin out of the way. Bouncers are safe and easy to set up. They usually attach to a door frame, and are a great way for babies to gain strength and balance, as well as being loads of fun. For babies who are too young for a door-hanging bouncer, a bouncy chair is a great alternative. You can keep the chair close by while you get on with chores and attach soft toys or mobiles to keep your little one entertained.
There are lots of different varieties of play pens, from the baby-friendly to extendable versions that are great for toddlers. Although you might not want your child to spend too much of the day in a play pen, they provide a safe place for them to play if you’re too busy to give them your full attention. If space is an issue then choose one that’s easy to fold away. For toddlers there are extendable plastic playpens to which new sections of wall can be added. These create a large play area for your child with all their favorite toys and activities inside — and some peace of mind for yourself while you crack on with those pressing chores.
Arts and crafts
If you have desk work to do then why not set up a play table beside you where your child can have fun with arts, crafts or games? Obviously this will only suit children who are a bit older, but at least you can offer them some distraction without having to resort to switching on the TV (and playing the same DVDs over and over again for them!). Setting up a table beside you will also help your child to feel involved. Choose arts and craft materials that aren’t too messy, such as crayons and paper, so you don’t have to be watching your child every minute.
These are just three of the safe, enjoyable ways that busy parents can entertain children. Do you have different ideas that you would recommend to other readers?
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