The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children over age two watch no more than one or two hours of television a day and that children under two don't watch any. Too much screen time leads to obesity, behavioral problems, lower academic performance, and even violence. The trouble is, turning on the television to keep kids busy while you make some phone calls is really easy to do. But there are other options.

Arts and Crafts

Depending on the age of your children, arts and crafts can keep them busy for hours. Construction paper, stickers, crayons, glue sticks, and more can keep those little ones creative and happy while you get a few things knocked off of your to-do list.


Play-doh is perfect for your preschoolers. Set them up with some brand new colors, Play-doh toys & cookie cutters, and you can be sure to have some free time on your hands for at least thirty minutes.


Children love workbooks that are full of coloring pages, dot-to-dots, traceable letters and numbers, and anything that helps them feel like a big kid. Plus, they get to do a bit a learning amidst all that fun. Keep some tucked away in a closet to bring out when you're desperate to get a few things done around the house.

Table Top Toys

These are the perfect toys to keep your children sitting in one spot. They're fun, they help develop motor skills, and they keep kids busy. Tall Stacker Pegs Building Set teaches shapes and colors and helps build fine motor skills. Lacing and Tracing Sea Life helps develop hand-eye coordination and is tons of fun.

A Special Toy

For a really fun treat, tuck some fun games and activities away for a day such as this. Your children will be thrilled and you'll be able to schedule all those appointments and pay all of those bills without much interruption. Then once your work is done, you'll be able to truly engage with your children.

It can be hard to get things done with your small children at your feet. Instead of stressing and turning to the TV or iPad, be prepared with fun and educational activities to keep them occupied and happy. The benefits are both immediate and long term!