Ideas for productive distracting methods for my toddler while I do school work?
This morning I took my first test for one of my online classes. Not long after starting it my 3 year old decided she wanted me to stop what I was doing and do something for her. When I asked her to wait it turned into a tantrum so I just got up to help her. By the time I got back to my test, my time was up and I flunked it bad. I need ways of productively distracting her when I have to take tests, Any ideas that don't include the TV?
Have you tried a playpen filled with sensory toys? This would be something that she could work her way through over a period of time. And since I know about the rigors of online school- my experience was the absolute most difficult out of my entire college career- I would suggest that maybe it would be a good idea to get a friend or a family member involved. Could she go to a playmate's house for a few hours until you complete your work, and then maybe you could return the favor at a later date? Hope this helps- school is so time consuming!
Hi peeples. Sooner or later online tests will come with a 'pause' button for parents juggling children. That doesn't help you now though, does it?
The age gap between my children is so big that my pre-schoolers never had a sibling close in age, so I needed to encourage them to be happy to play alone.
When my kids were little and I needed time and space to complete projects, I'd have a big blackboard they could draw on (with lots of chalk on hand ... some where they could reach them and some that I could easily pass to them). Sometimes I would draw shapes for them to colour and try to copy (before I began).
One of the things I loved was the invention of the pre-schooler's computer. The type that had buttons and would play them songs or make different noises. I would suggest that they work on their 'computer' to help me get my work done faster. If the noise will distract you though, that's probably not a good idea - but you could keep an eye out for one at a garage/yard sale and give it a try. It needs to be basic enough for them to be able to use it without constant help from you.
A pile of blocks could keep them busy for ages, trying to balance them all on top of each other. If they could do it by themselves, I rewarded them with a slice of apple. Knock them down and do it again for another slice.
One of my most successful strategies was to build them a cubby house out of blankets dangled over chairs (not the type that will fall over on them) - and then suggest they find their toys to take into the cubby. Before I needed them to entertain themselves I'd hide toys in different places - & an unexpected balloon for them to discover and play with.- and make myself a list so I could quickly point them in the right direction if needed. "Have a look under your bed. You might find teddy there." And when they're getting disgruntled again, "I think you should look under all the pillows."
When they had four or five or however many toys it took before they lost interest in the search, I'd pass a plate of chopped up fruit (concealed on my desk) and say, "Now go and share nicely with your toys". Then the fun of the picnic began. "Make sure they have good manners and share nicely."
I found I could put myself on automatic pilot and not lose concentration, and it worked well for me. Of course I wasn't doing tests though. It might take a few practise runs to get the process smooth enough for you to complete your next test uninterrupted.
Good luck with it.
I found that the best help here was practice. I would do things where I could afford to be interrupted and take that time to teach not interrupting. Patience. I think my youngest got it at about 3. Then in between I give way too much attention and they are happy to be rid of me for a few moments.
I also had fun stuff hidden on my desk that I could just pop out and occupy them for a moment or two.
The really cool thing is that, while it is hard to see now, what you are doing is teaching invaluable lessons about boundaries, so it is worth all the effort.
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