Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler

Tips for Working At Home with a Toddler

When I started working from home full time, my kids were already in preschool and I had at least a solid 4 hours 3 days a week to get things done. As business picked up, so did the hours my kids were away at school and I was none the wiser of how lucky I truly was for this.

Then we got pregnant with my third and I was confident in my ability to continue working from home and rocking it even with a baby on the way. Once the baby got here, things seemed to work out. I was able to work while she napped, or put her on the floor next to me and let her play beside me as I worked. But then she became more mobile. And more demanding of my time while she was playing. She didn’t want to just play with a ball, she wanted me to play with her.

Today started as most mornings start. I got the big kids ready for their day, and we all got out the door for morning drop off. But when we came back home my youngest was ready to play instead of nap like she normally does. So we had to shift gears a bit and move our schedule around to accommodate her needs. She’s always throwing a wrench into my routine so I have to learn how to be flexible with my work hours to make things flow well throughout the day. Working at home with a toddler is hard. But it’s not impossible!

Here are some tips for working at home with a toddler so that you can stay focused but still spend time with your child.

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler - ways to make life easier when working with a toddler

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler

Create Work Hours

Over the past years the biggest change I’ve found between working outside of the home and working at home is office hours. In an office setting I would come in at a certain time, take lunch at a certain time, and leave at the end of my work day. But at home it’s hard to think along the same lines. So I’ve set out time throughout the day dedicated to working.

This doesn’t have to be fancy. My office hours are written down on a post it note and stuck on my computer screen. By scheduling my day, I not only am aware of when I should be working and when I’m playing with my little one, I also take the time to feed myself and give myself the breaks I need.

Be Flexible

I’m very aware of the fact that toddlers are finicky. They can be fine playing with their train table one moment and absolutely need you RIGHT NOW the next. So I’ve grown to learn how to adapt to the quickly shifting focus of working on a task I have and then spending time with my toddler.

If I’m in the middle of working on something, I take a moment to note that in Google Keep so that I can pick up where I left off without spending time remembering where I was at.

I’ve also been able to schedule important work that needs my complete focus in the evening hours when she’s either sleeping or with my husband. This gives me peace of mind during the day because I know that I can stop and start when needed to focus on her.

Find Other Work At Home Moms

Whether it’s a neighborhood mom who also works from home with her kids, or mamas around town who you meet on meetup.com, finding other moms who work from home can help you in a variety of ways. Whether it’s socializing with them on a weekly basis and letting your kids play together, or exchanging care can help when a last minute meeting pops up or if I need to have a chunk of time during the day that I focus on getting a project done.

Schedule Play Time

I know my daughter’s routine most days and have been able to schedule play time so that we’re doing fun, interactive things throughout the day. Before I had my third, I found that I was hardly ever getting outside the house during the day when I worked. So I’ve now scheduled outdoor play in the mornings and afternoons. Since it’s warmer out, I’ve been able to set up her water table and sand box and while she plays, I can work outside. Fresh air does wonders for morale!

We then take an afternoon walk before picking up the older kids so we can explore other areas around the neighborhood and get out and about. I’ve found that I’m more productive in the afternoons after our walks than I was when we stayed home all day.

Rock Nap Time

As soon as my daughter is down for nap time, I have a pre-made list of tasks in Google Keep to tackle that I’ve made the night before. This is anything I need done without interruption that has to be completed before the end of the work day. Since I’m working with people in different time zones, I need to make sure that I’m aware of the tasks that need to be done by end of day depending on the time zone.

Utilize Tools Available

As I mentioned before, I use Google Keep for a lot of my tracking and accountability. I keep notes of my daily tasks and check them off throughout the day. I also utilize my Google Calendar and put everything on there. Whether it’s a meeting, a deadline, or even volunteer time at my son’s school, I keep it on the calendar and set notifications to pop up.

I also use IFTTT and have created recipes to help me be more efficient with my time. I can automate a lot of the tasks I have to do by using schedulers and tools built for my needs. Spending a little money is worth it when my time is used efficiently.

Tips for Working At Home With A Toddler - letting go of perfection

While working from home with a toddler is hard, it’s not impossible. By staying organized, being flexible, and knowing my limits, I’ve been able to find a groove and continue working from home with success.

What are your tips for working at home with a toddler?

DIY Bouncing Ball

Make DIY bouncing balls with your kids and share the fun of science in the process!

Have you ever wanted to make your own toys? See your creation unfold from idea to reality? My kids absolutely love balls. They always ask to buy more and our front yard is filled with them. So when I saw this tutorial on About.com on how to make polymer balls I had to give it a try.

Result? A pretty fun experiment and toy all in one! And while the ball doesn’t bounce quite as high as the ones you buy from the machine outside of the grocery store it still provides hours of entertainment for children and adults alike. Whether you are looking to teach your kids about a little chemistry or just ready to make a fun toy, this is the perfect craft for a lazy afternoon. 

This post contains affiliate links.


DIY Bouncing Balls

What You’ll Need:

  • borax (found in the laundry section of the store)
  • cornstarch (found in the baking section of the store)
  • white glue (makes an opaque ball) or blue or clear school glue (makes a translucent ball)
  • warm water
  • food coloring (optional)
  • measuring spoons
  • spoon or craft stick to stir the mixture
  • 2 small plastic cups or other containers for mixing
  • marking pen
  • watch with a second hand
  • ruler
  • ziploc bag

[Read more…]

Celebrate Carlsbad Day at LEGOLAND California

It is a deal in more ways than one. LEGOLAND California is partnering with the Carlsbad Educational Foundation again to provide an opportunity for local residents and their families to enjoy a fun-filled day to support education for only $30. We hope to see you at LEGOLAND California for a giant pep rally!

This year, more than ever, we need to build morale and share with our community how much we appreciate our schools! 

LEGOLAND will donate a portion of the proceeds from Celebrate Carlsbad Day at LEGOLAND to the Carlsbad Educational Foundation in support of science initiatives for students in the Carlsbad Unified School District.

San Diegans can visit LEGOLAND® California Resort April 29 for just $30!

The Carlsbad Education Foundation (CEF) is hosting their annual ‘Celebrate Carlsbad Day™’ at LEGOLAND California Resort.

  • What: Specially-priced $30 LEGOLAND tickets
  • When: Saturday, April 29
  • Time: Enjoy extended Park hours 12pm-8pm

LEGOLAND will donate a portion of the event proceeds to the Foundation to support district-wide science initiatives for students at all CUSD Schools.

To purchase tickets online, visit www.CarlsbadEd.org

Tickets cannot be purchased at the LEGOLAND gate.   

To learn more about this very special event, please visit our website at www.CarlsbadEd.org.

General Info: www.CarlsbadEd.org     Phone: (760) 929-1555

To learn more about CEF, please visit their website at www.CarlsbadEd.org   To read and see more, visit and “like” them on Facebook. To see CEF’s programs in action, check out their videos on YouTube!

$1 Movies for 2017 Summer Movie Express

Just like last year, the Summer Movie Express will be making an appearance in Regal Cinemas theaters all around the US! 

The nine-week film festival takes place at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.  The start dates for Summer Movie Express vary based on local school schedules. A portion of each $1 admission goes to assist the Will Rogers Institute.

“With a wide variety of films this summer starting with The Lego Movie and ending with The Lorax, we know families will be boarding the Summer Movie Express at Regal,” said Ken Foreman, Vice President of Film Marketing at Regal Entertainment Group. “This annual program provides an excellent opportunity for families to enjoy the movies together week after week.”

$1 Movies for 2017 Summer Movie Express

Admission to the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10:00 am. Each week both movies play on both days. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.

The titles for this year’s Summer Movie Express are:

In San Diego? Click on the link below to print a PDF of your local theater’s schedule.

Edwards Mira Mesa

Regal Parkway Plaza

Edwards Rancho San Diego

For a full list of participating locations, local festival dates and for more information, please visit www.REGmovies.com/Movies/Summer-Movie-Express.

What movie will you be heading out to see with the kids?

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Hard Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot

Want to make your life easier? Try these hard boiled eggs in the instant pot and watch the shells slide off! Plus no more grey ring around the yolk. 

One of the biggest uses I get out of my Instant Pot when I am not making dinner is making hard boiled eggs. I use the 5/5/5 method where I cook them for 5 minutes with a cup of water, let the pot naturally release steam for 5 minutes, then put the eggs in an ice bath for 5 minutes.

The shells fall off and the eggs are cooked beautifully! When I make them on the stove I always end up with gray rings around my yolk. No more gray rings! [Read more…]

Classic Homemade Brownies The Kids Can Make

These classic homemade brownies are the perfect dessert to let the kids help make! They’ll love mixing, cracking eggs, and baking from scratch. 

One thing I absolutely love doing with the kids is watching them learn how to bake. And my 6-year-old just graduated from baking brownies from a mix to baking from scratch. Her suggestion! 

After talking about how easy it was to make homemade brownies with my husband, she asked me if I could help her make them. So we got all of the ingredients out and started baking. 

What I love about this recipe is its simplicity. 

The fudgy goodness is absolutely perfect and the brownies pair so well with a glass of cold milk. Sure you can dress them up or add in some fun flavors, but these can stand on their own.

You can also add some espresso to enhance the chocolate flavor. We just didn’t have some on hand right now so we went without.  [Read more…]

Smurfette’s Secret Succulent Fairy Garden

This secret succulent fairy garden would make a perfect gift for Mother’s Day or any other special occasion. Plus, it’s super easy to put together when you have the right tools!

A few weeks ago we were invited to a screening of Smurfs The Lost Village and boy did my kids love it! The movie took us through the story of Smurfette’s creation and her struggle with finding her unique talent. Since she was made out of clay and different from the other Smurfs, she grew sad and frustrated with her lack of being able to master one skill. 

As the story unfolds, she and a few Smurf friends head off on an adventure that brings her to realize who she really is and the power she holds inside. 

Well… my kids were quite inspired by the movie because as soon as we got home they wanted to create their own Smurf village in the back yard! The fun plants that came alive and the various creatures found along Smurfette’s journey were all they could talk about. 

So I pitched a fairy garden but instead of fairies, we used Smurfs! And how perfect did it turn out? Plus? It was so easy for the kids to make! 

Watch the video at the end of this post for more details! 

[Read more…]

3 Ways to Dye Easter Eggs with Toddlers and Preschoolers

These 3 Ways to Dye Easter Eggs with Toddlers and Preschoolers will make egg dying fun for the whole family! 

Easy Ways to Dye Easter Eggs with Toddlers and Preschoolers

This year our toddler is ready to jump in with both hands and really have fun dying Easter eggs. So we did a few experiments of our own to find 3 ways to dye easter eggs with toddlers and preschoolers that are not only fun but easy too! And as an added bonus, you probably have all of these things in your home right now. How’s that for awesome? 

My two year old had a blast dying Easter eggs with me this past week and can’t wait to show her brother and sister what fun they have in store for them next weekend. Since we dye Easter eggs the Saturday before Easter, she has a leg up from her siblings and will be a pro when it’s time to actually dye the eggs. 

3 Ways to Dye Easter Eggs with Toddlers and Preschoolers

With small children, it’s hard to use the ready-made kits on store shelves. Their little hands just aren’t ready for holding those thin wire holders and spoons can sometimes be harder to control. So we set the spoons aside and let the kids have fun with these few suggestions!  [Read more…]

Star Wars Rogue One Perler Bead Templates: Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire

Use these Rogue One Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire Perler Bead Templates to show the world if you’re on the dark side or the light side and see if your true Jedi comes out! 

May the 4th… er… April the 4th be with you. 

Today’s the day!! Did you preorder your copy of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? If not, get on it! It comes out on Blu-ray/DVD today and is the perfect addition to your ever-growing collection of Star Wars movies. 

The fact that it is being released on my husband’s birthday did not escape me. How perfect is it to have one of your favorite movie franchises release a movie ON your birthday? Kismet! In celebration of my husband’s birthday and the release of Rogue One on store shelves, my daughter and I got to crafting to make the perfect birthday gift for dad: Star Wars Perler Bead creations! 

My daughter has been obsessed with her Perler beads since receiving them for Christmas this past year so when she was thinking of what to make her dad for a birthday gift, she immediately went and grabbed her Perler bead kit. But she couldn’t figure out what to make.  [Read more…]

20 Beautiful Butterfly Crafts for Kids

In celebration of spring, we’ve put together a list of 20 butterfly crafts for kids that will be perfect for celebrating spring with the littles! Try one or try them all and add some springtime fun to your day with the kids.

Springtime is my favorite time of the year! I get back into gardening, enjoying the birds in the back yards making nests and eating from our bird feeders, and the gorgeous butterflies flying around our yard. 

Spring also begins on my birthday most years so it holds a special place in my heart. There’s something about getting outside and soaking in the sunshine after a few weeks of rain. And one of my favorite things to do is to go outside with a blanket and lay down in the grass with the kids as we look up and watch nature around us. 

The kids are always amazed at how much they can see once they sit still and silence themselves for a few moments. I ask each of them to try and find one new thing they didn’t notice when we first came outside and I love hearing what they discover. Yesterday Ethan discovered that the bird who nests at our house every year has finally returned. So we can expect some babies soon!! Molly is on the hunt for caterpillars so we can see if we can watch them turn to chrysalises.

If you want some hands-on inspiration for your butterfly crafts, try creating a butterfly garden in the yard so you can attract butterflies in your yard for the kids to check out. 

Butterfly Crafts for Kids

1. Coffee Filter Butterfly | Crafts by Amanda
2. Oil Pastel Butterflies | My Bored Toddler
3. Toilet Paper Roll Butterfly Craft | Life Over C’s
4. DIY Butterfly Magnets | Mom Endeavors
5. Bright & Beautiful Butterfly Craft | Mom on Timeout
6. Butterfly Finger Puppets | Twig & Toadstool
7. DIY Butterfly Window Clings | Gym Craft Laundry
8. Washi Tape Butterflies | Artsy Momma
9. Tissue Paper Butterflies | J-Man & Miller Bug
10. Bow Tie Noodle Butterfly | Craft Morning
11. Paint Splat Butterflies | Glued to my Crafts
12. Colorful Butterfly Symmetry Painting | Artsy Momma
13. Fluttering Butterfly Wand | The Simple Parent
14. Paper Doily Butterflies | Crafts by Amanda
15. Sun Catcher Butterflies | Parenting Chaos
16. Butterfly Ribbon Dancer Craft | Simple at Home
17. Handprint Butterfly Craft | Glued to my Crafts
18. Egg Carton Butterfly | Craftulate
19. Foam Cup Butterfly Craft | I Heart Crafty Things
20. Watercolor Butterfly Craft | About a Mom

Do your kids love butterflies? 

Love these ideas? Here are a few more! 

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