things to keep your kids busy when you are workingHaving to work-from-home with your kids at home is a juggling act, and keeping them occupied is essential when work calls.

Have you had that moment when you gave the kids a project before a conference call, thinking it would keep them busy while you’re working, only to have them interrupt you in the middle of your presentation because they needed help with the project, that they didn’t understand the directions, or had a hard time with the pieces? If you haven’t already, you will. Trust me.

If you know precisely this scenario, then stock up on these 10 parent-tested, parent-approved, conference call diverters. They don’t require charging or assembly. They don’t make a mess that you’ll need to clean up. They don’t make background noise, and they DON’T have difficult, complicated instructions. Parenting win!


BLOCKAROO BLOCKS (Blue Marble)

Blockaroo Blocks are soft foam magnetic blocks click together like magic, rotate 360-degrees, and always attract to each other, creating a multi-sensory experience that will keep kids occupied. They also float in the water, making them a very versatile toy. The blocks are non-toxic too.

Ages: 18 months+
MSRP: $19.99+
BUY NOW: Amazon


JIXELZ (Fat Brain Toys)

Each Jixelz puzzle set comes with hundreds of precision-cut, micro jigsaw pieces. There is a larger set of 1,500 pieces and a smaller set of 700 pieces, depending on the age of the child and length of time you want to keep them busy! Kids can use the included color templates to create pre-determined designs, or come up with something totally unique. Alternatively, they can combine sets and freeform their unique Jixelz masterpiece! It is a fun take on a traditional puzzle.

Ages: 3+
MSRP: $9.95 and up
BUY NOW: Amazon



ETCH-A-SKETCH (Spinmaster)

The classic red-framed drawing toy is shaking things up in 2020 to mark its 60th anniversary. With no batteries or charging needed, it gives screen-free time to kids in a creative way. The Etch-a-Sketch can provide kids with unplugged fun for a while! Etch-A-Sketch is also teaming up with other iconic brands to unveil a series of limited-edition launches, like Monopoly, NASA, Rubik’s Cube, Stan Lee, and diamond-inspired editions.

Ages: 3+
MSRP: $19.99
BUY NOW: Amazon


COLOR WONDER (Crayola)

What is better than mess-free coloring? Color Wonder markers only show up on specially formulated Color Wonder paper, not skin, clothing, or furniture. So, if you have to leave the kids alone for a while, you don’t need to worry too much. Also, the envelope-style packaging doubles as a unique storage solution, keeping makers and pages all in the same place. It includes 18 themed coloring pages and five Color Wonder Markers. Sets are available with kid-favorite characters from Dreamworks’ Trolls World Tour, internet sensation Baby Shark, and Disney’s Frozen 2.

Ages: 3+
MSRP: $7.99
BUY NOW: Amazon


DOODLE BEAR (TOMY)

The Doodle Bear line includes a variety of plush animals in 14-inch, 6-inch, and smaller clip-on styles. The 14-inch option is most like the Doodle Bear of decades past, and it comes with three unique, colored markers. Kids can use the markers to draw on any part of the bear, creating fun designs that provide entertainment and activity when you are distracted. Then, once kids are ready to start over, an adult can wash the Doodle Bear plush in a washing machine to remove the design. Letting you use the bear for the next at-home phone call.

Ages: 3+
MSRP: $7.99+
BUY NOW: Amazon


crayolaSCRIBBLE SCRUBBIE PETS VET SET (Crayola)

Another fun scribble opportunity (that is not on the wall), is this adorable Scribble Scrubbie Pets Vet Set. It lets kids take care of their Scribble Scrubbies Pets, providing a nuturing play opportunity, as well as color them for more engaging fun. Then kids can clean the pets with water and start decorating them again. When the vet visit is over, just fold up shop and be on your way! It comes with three Scribble Scrubbies Markers and two Scribble Scrubbies Pets, including Tucker (dog) and Biggie (cat). It also includes a spray bottle and a scrub brush. There are other sets available, like a Safari.

Ages: 3+
MSRP: $14.99
BUY NOW: Amazon


LITE-BRITE ULTIMATE CLASSIC (Basic Fun)

The updated Lite-Brite Ultimate Classic is now brighter than ever with a bigger screen and more pegs. The set includes more than 200 colorful, round, pegs that inspire creativity. Battery-powered LED bulbs light up the screen four different ways for a fun light show of your artwork.

Ages: 4+
MSRP: $14.99
BUY NOW: Amazon


COLOR BY PLAYFOAM SETS (Educational Insights)

Kids can mold Playfoam onto designed canvases to create squishy works of art. It comes with five Playfoam colors and a squisher tool to press and pull Playfoam from the empty blanks. Squisher tool helps perfect a child’s pencil grip. Mythical designs include a Dragon and Unicorn.

Ages: 5+
MSRP: $7.99
BUY NOW: Amazon


Whether you need to be on a conference call un-interrupted, need to focus on the email inbox, or have to get that report out, these will keep the kids entertained, playing and learning, while you juggle the modern problem of parenting and working at the same time. And remember — if they do interrupt you, it’ll be OK! We’re all in this together.