Thursday, November 3, 2011

Keeping the Little Darlings Busy

So, I know not all writers have children. But for those of us who do, working on any sort of project, let alone something like Nano, can be a challenge. Here are a few ideas I've picked up over the years for keeping your kidlets (or significant others) busy while you are pounding the keyboard.

1. The Electronic Babysitter

Yeah, yeah, I know....Bad Mommy! But, I've found this one highly effective. Movies and video games can keep my little ones occupied for hours. And it doesn't have to be bad, mind-numbing drivel. There are lots of great, educational games and shows around. But just like the Borg, your kidlets will adapt quickly. You gotta keep throwing fresh, new material at them or they will develop immunity and it will no longer be effective.

2. Find the Coin

When I was growing up, my parents would play this game with us (we called it something different but it probably isn't PC anymore so...we'll just call it Find the Coin) :D I realize now it was a great way to give them a few kid-free moments, but at the time, I just thought it was a fun game. They would hide this huge silver coin my dad had somewhere in the house, and we'd have to go find it. I don't remember if we got a treat for finding it; I just remember how much fun it was to look. And I never suspected that my parents were just trying to keep us occupied for a while :D

3. Skittle Surprise

This one cracks me up and was suggested by my awesome friend Toni Wilson. I don't know that I'd ever do it but it's hilarious. Take your kids in the backyard, open a big bag of Skittles, and let them fly :D It'll take your kids hours to find them all :D

4. Pen Pals

My kids love to do projects with me. So sometimes we'll set up a whole Writer's Corner at the kitchen table. My kids will either get their toy laptops and play their games while I work, or they'll get out pencils and paper and create their own books. They love making up their own stories, drawing pictures to go with their ideas. And I love sharing something that such a big part of me with them :)

What are some things you do to keep your kids occupied when you need to work?


  1. Love the find the coin idea! Thanks for posting this. It's nice to know us mommy and daddys aren't alone. :)

  2. Hahaha this is HILARIOUS! I put my kids in front of the Electronic babysitter, or put them in front of a pile of candy with complicated wrappers (Hershey's kisses at their age) and let them have at it.

  3. Great tips! If it wasn't snowy here, I'd definitely take my laptop outside and do the Skittles thing :)

  4. Awww! I especially love Pen Pals. Adorable.

  5. My daughter's art supplies are stored in my office, so when I create, so can she. When she was younger, she loved to play under my desk, building her own little pretend office.

  6. Lol the Skittles thing cracked me up! Great suggestions, I definitely employ the electronic babysitter!! :D

  7. LOVE this! Brilliant.

    Alright, here are some of my ideas...

    *put my wee girls in the bathtub and type on my laptop while I watch them

    *make a big batch of play-dough and let them get busy with it

    *lock them outside (ok. not really)

    *get older siblings to play with the younger ones

    *go to the park or library and let the kids play while you type on laptop

    *encourage your husband to have hobbies like hunting, so then when hunting season is over, he owes you. Big time. And then you run away to the library on Saturdays and leave him to manage the natives. Perfect.


  8. LOL @Erin - my husband is OBSESSED with hunting. It does come in handy sometimes when I say "yeah, remember last weekend...." :D The bath thing works great too. My kids will stay in there for hours if I let them :D

  9. Officially BOOKMARKED for whenever toddlers are near me :)


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