I have a 3.5 year old only child son and love playing with him when I'm not at work. Sometimes I have tasks that may take a couple of hours to do on the computer which are hard to do with him. I usually end up doing them late at night or early in the morning. I'm wondering if there are activities to keep him entertained that he can do by himself? In our house he always wants to be in the same room as one or both parents and whatever he is doing he wants to involve one or both parents in. He can use Youtube on a laptop and watch tv by himself, but I would like to have more variety.

asked 31 Jan '11, 15:23

David%20Smith's gravatar image

David Smith
accept rate: 0%

edited 31 Jan '11, 19:45

Some additional ideas for independent play: colouring, puzzles, cars, reading/books, pop beads/lego building toys

I think you'll be hard-pressed to get the duration of time that you're looking for though. You may have some luck if he can play in the same space as you but it is still not conducive to getting much done especially if your work requires talking on the phone or concentration. Personally, I don't even attempt to work anymore (other than answering the odd email) if the kids are up. And yes, that means I stay up late too.


answered 31 Jan '11, 20:54

Kate's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%

Great answers already provided but just as an extra idea here is a personal recommendation.

We noticed that our daughter really enjoyed tapping away at a spare wireless keyboard we had at home, then coupled with her infatuation of phones (cordless home phone, home with handset and dummy mobiles), we found that she could play happily on her own for what did seem like quite long stretches of time. I wonder if your son would have fun mimicking you working, because thats what our daughter did early on.

I never really realized at the time but she would role play on her own and she seemed to enjoy it tremendously also because perhaps the things involved in this type of play were not toy 'toys' but things that were similar if not identical to what we were using.

Good luck!


answered 09 Mar '11, 07:05

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

I think it really depends on what your child enjoys doing - obviously if it's not all the time, you could put on a movie or some TV. Other things that my son will play at for at least 45 minutes at a time are:

  • play doh
  • legos
  • water (fill a couple inches water in the sink, give him some plastic cups, seive, funnel, spoon ... you have to be prepared for a bit of cleanup but overall it's not too bad because it's just water
  • puzzles

I agree it is difficult to work with a preschooler in the house. I personally will go in the bathroom where I can lock the door if I need to make a phone call, and most of my computer work (other than emails I can answer from my smartphone) takes place after my son is in bed, or during nap/quiet time.


answered 06 Mar '11, 13:23

Melanie's gravatar image

accept rate: 17%


Along the lines of playing with water, last summer I would take my laptop out to our backyard and work while my son played in the water or his "sandbox" (which was just a plastic tub we filled with sand). He was much younger than your son, 18 months at the time, but I think both water and sand are fun regardless of age.

(06 Mar '11, 19:28) Kiesa ♦
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 31 Jan '11, 15:23

Seen: 3,757 times

Last updated: 09 Mar '11, 07:05