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Parenting Hacks

30 Kids Activities That Will Buy Any Mom at least 30 Minutes!

Kids Activities for Work At Home Moms

As a work at home mom, I know how hard it can be to keep your kids occupied long enough for you to finish up that last blog post, or send off the perfect pitch letter. And let’s not even get started about the guilt you feel when you have to say, “I just need 5 more minutes”…because that always turns into 15 minutes..which turns into 30 minutes. The struggle is real.

30 children's activities that will buy any mom at least 30 minutes! Click To Tweet

I polled my private Facebook group for blogging moms and my personal Facebook friends and asked them what activities their kids enjoyed that kept them occupied for at least 30 minutes..and the responses were overwhelming..and a true testament to how crafty working moms can be with occupying their children! Below You’ll find 30 activities that **should** occupy your child for at least 30 minutes.

1. Magnatiles

activities for work at home moms
I had never heard about Magnatiles tile before! But Aimee from MamaCentric, said her two boys loved them. I checked them out on Amazon and they look VERY cool. They are magnetic tiles that kids can use to build structures, towers and castles!

2. White board & Markers

Do not underestimate the power of a white board and dry erase markers! For kids who are learning to draw or write their letters this is a great way to occupy their time for at least 30 minutes!

3. Train Table


My 3 year old son absolutely loves the train table…and not only does he get lost in it for more than 30 minutes, but it’s an absolute delight that he plays with this table all by himself! Ok..granted sometimes he doesn’t LET my other kids touch the train table, but this one is a hit in my household, so I can totally vouch for it!

4. Moving Boxes & Markers


So simple! I don’t know what it is about moving boxes, but kids absolutely go nuts for them! My kids usually build a fort or castle, or sometimes they just take a marker and draw all over them. Get out in your garage, find some old boxes and tell the kids to go wild!

5. Measuring Cups & Spoons


Again, I don’t know what it is about measuring cups and spoons..but the babies love em! Set them down on the floor with some plastic kitchenware and you’ve bought yourself enough time to wrap up that conference call!

6. Bubbles

Bubbles! What kid doesn’t love bubbles, right? Now you can go with the cheapy bottles of bubbles OR you can splurge a little and go with this automatic bubble blower. Think about it…no one running in asking you to take that little wand out of the bottle a hundred times and no spills!

7. Sidewalk Chalk

Sidewalk chalk is one of my favorite kid’s activities because it gives the children and opportunity to be super creative and fun…AND it washes away with the slightest drizzle…so NO clean up! Some of the funny sidewalk chalk games that kids can play are hopscotch, hangman, and tic tac toe.

8. Trampoline


I purchased a trampoline for my daughter for Christmas last year and it was the BEST $250 I ever spent. My children are 12, 10 & 3 and all three of my children love to play and jump on the trampoline. It’s one of the only activities that they all enjoy doing at the same time. It’s not uncommon for them to go out after dinner and be on the trampoline for an hour or so. Not only do they have fun..but they also get exercise at the same time! I highly recommend getting a trampoline! (Just be sure to get one with a safety net!)

9. Kinetic Sand

The only thing better than real sand is kinetic sand…and honestly…moms this stuff is pretty cool! Kinetic sand is that stuff you see on commercials in between Nickelodeon shows (lol) and it’s the type of sand that sticks together and can be formed into different shapes. I used to put down a garbage bag over my kitchen table and give the kids cookie cutters and let them have at it. I will admit..there is a certain amount of clean up with this activity, however, the cool factor really makes up for it. Looks like there is even a homemade recipe for you to try at home!

10. Legos

You cannot go wrong with Legos unless, of course, it’s in the middle of the night and you step on one. ARGH! Damn you legos!! 😉 But that aside, playing with Legos is another activity that all of my kids enjoy and they play it together. My 12 & 3 year old LOVE playing legos together and I know it will buy up at least 30 minutes of their time!

11. Outdoor Sandbox & Dumptrucks


If you’ve got kids….I’m sure you  know by now they love to play in the sand and they love to get why not give them a cool toy like this sandbox (with built it dump trucks) to dig to their hearts content! What I love about this sandbox is that it comes with a cover which is so important when dealing with an outdoor sandbox ….because cat pee…eww!

12. ISpy Books

The iSpy books are AMAZING for the older kids! They’ll easily spend 30 minutes going through the pages and looking for all the hidden objects. Fun Fact: These books are fun for adults too! 😉

13. Blanket Fort


When all else fails, give the kids the sheets from your linen closet and let them go to town! Blanket forts are where imagination and engineering skills meet and you should allow your kids to live out that fantasy on the regular! Plus, it’ll buy you some time to finish up that blog post you’ve been meaning to do!

14. Finger Paint

If you do this right (as mess-free as possible) finger painting is a fun way to spend an afternoon. I definitely recommend getting a kit with a smock, some brushes and putting down lots of newspaper underneath the work station

15. Snap Circuits

This activity is definitely for the older kids..but man is it cool! I had never heard of Snap Circuits before, but my husband ordered them for the kids and they spent hours putting together all of these circuits into functioning lights and sirens using the electric currents!

16. Soccer Ball & Goal

There’s something about kicking a soccer ball into a goal that’s pretty euphoric for a kid of any age. Throw this set in the back yard and your child can play against friends or just by herself while you finish reading that book you just can’t put down!

17. Army Men

I don’t care how far we’ve come technologically…kids still love the good old fashioned army men. These give the kids a great opportunity to use their imagination and create scenes and stories.

18. Dress-Up

I could not write a post about children’s activities and not include the one activity that my daughter would do for hours on end…DRESS UP! Grab a few costumes on sale  after Halloween and let your kids do their thing!

19. Kids’ Tablet

As much as some of you may disagree with me on this one, giving your children a tablet once and a while can be a much needed break for you…and them! Tablets aren’t all that bad, this Kindle Fire for kids has hundreds of educational games and videos they can watch and enjoy. P.S. Giving your child a tablet doesn’t make you a bad parent!

20. Sticker Books

Sticker books are another great way to occupy a little one’s time. You’d be surprised at how much stickering they can do in 30 minutes! Just make sure they know that stickers are only allowed on paper 😉

21. Minecraft


Once again this activity is for the older kids…but OMG, if you ever want to have several hours to yourself…download Minecraft on your family computer or Xbox and watch your kids go at it. I still don’t understand Minecraft..but somehow kids pick it up very quickly. If I let my 12 year old alone, he’d be up in his room playing Minecraft ALL DAY!

22. Explorer’s Kit

Kids love to explore and what’s cooler than busting out a magnifying glass and heading into the backyard to see what creepy crawlies are out there? Be sure to give them a pad of paper and have them document everything they find!

23. Playing Store

One of the things my kids used to love to do when I had a couponing stockpile was play store with all of the items in my stockpile. They would play for hours just shopping and counting money!

24. Shaving Cream & Food Coloring Fun


This one can be a bit messy, but it’ a fun way for kids to explore the cloud like feeling of shaving cream and mix colors using food coloring. Here’s a quick tutorial on how you can set one up.

25. Netflix

Once again, I know this is controversial..but parents…give yourself a break. It’s okay to let your kids watch an episode of Calliou every now and then. Isn’t that why Netflix was invented? 😉

26. Crayons & Paper

Crayons are paper are another tried & true way to get a few minutes to breathe! Kids love playing with crayons and drawing and using their imaginations. You just want to be sure to have some magic erasers on case the kids get a little carried away…and color on your walls.

27. Slip & Slide

Yup…the Slip & Slide is just as fun as you remember and kids still love running and sliding down the slippery slide. This activity will easily buy you an hour of time!

28. Play kitchen


We bought my 3 year old a play kitchen last Christmas and it’s easily his most favorite thing in his bedroom. We frequently find him up there playing all by himself frying up hotdogs and making pizzas!

29. Bug Catching

Encourage the little scientist in your house to get out and catch some bugs! This little bug box is a great way for them to house the bugs they find.

30. Have another kid!

activities to occupy a child while parents work

When all else fails, grab your hubby…get in the the bedroom and give your child another sibling to play with! 🙂

Listen ladies we are all in this together, so if you’ve got some kids activities that you’d like to recommend! Please leave a comment below! I’d love to add some activities to this list 🙂

In full disclosure, this blog post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase from any of these links, I may make a little money. So let me thank you in advance for putting a little cheddar in my bank account.

Kids activities for working parents

Chrystie is a mom of 3 kids and wife to one. She's sold 4 blogs in the last 10 years and now helps other women start their blogging empire. Her love for really bad reality TV is only trumped by her love for margaritas without salt. Her other addictions include spray painting everything gold and embarrassing her kids at the bus stop. #thatmom

This article has 8 comments

  1. Chris

    Great list! But I totally believe in the power of boxes and blankets! I was so happy to see them make your list!

    • Chrystie

      Exactly! Do not underestimate the items in your nearby closet 🙂

  2. Maya

    Awesome suggestions! My little munchkin is having a birthday soon and this have given me some great ideas… I particularly love the fort building kit!

  3. Leah

    All of these are great ideas, and sometimes you just need that quick break!

  4. Maintaining Me

    I’m not offended by the Netflix, but I am slightly offended that you said Caillou! haha Great list!

  5. rebecca

    Mine is 19 months and sometimes if I get lucky, a bead maze or activity cube will keep her entertained long enough for me to get a quick phone call wrapped up. Sometimes, a box, blocks, a blanket and mirror for her to play peek a boo with herself will do the trick. Some days, though, nothing will tear her away from mommy.

  6. Alison

    Your kids must be very trustworthy if you’ll let them fingerpaint alone haha! My go-to activities for my 4 year old are play-doh and lego, she’ll sit for ages making things. I just have to pretend to be interested at the end (of course I mean I am VERY interested).

  7. Aileen (Aileen Cooks Blog)

    Number 30! I am cracking up over here! In all seriousness, this is a great list! I would also add a water feature in your backyard. We have a water dripper in our backyard (for the dog) and my kids will play with it for hours. They love filling cups to dump in their sand box and filling the water table.

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