Getting children, especially young children, to be quiet on command is nearly impossible. The younger they are, the harder it is. However, there are some techniques that have worked for me in the past that I'll share with my working parents.
Kids loves phones! So providing your child with his or her own tablet is a great way to distract them while you have to work. Games that include puzzles, videos, and quizzes are ideal as they provide hours of replayibility.
The Amazon Fire tablet comes preloaded with hundreds of child friendly games, books, and videos. When you subscribe to Amazon Kids+ (formerly Amazon Freetime), you can unlock over 20,000 unique games and other activities for children through age 12.
To prevent you conference call from being interrupted constantly by kids telling you how much they want pizza, have healthy meals prepared for them the day before. Doing so may require you to wake up a bit earlier but it will save you the trouble of getting frustrated with your kids as they barge into work calls.
Watermelons are great snacks for the summer as they provide a healthy way to stave off hunger in between meals and keep hydrated. They are also large enough to feed your kids for a few days. Just purchase a large watermelon the day before work, chop it up, and put it in plastic bags.
Whenever the kids want a snack, they can just head down to the kitchen instead of pulling you away from your Zoom call.
To avoid interuptions and potential blowback from the employer, teach your kids to text you for non-urgent matters. If they don't have a phone of their own, have them download a free text messaging app and show them how to use it. Be sure to educate them on the dangers of communicating with anyone other than yourself and trusted family or friends online.
Try to schedule a call with their cousins or friends who may also be home during your work call. This is a great way for them to socialize, hone their organizational, and communication skills. You can even have them dress up in formal attire.
While too much TV time is not good for kids, neither is the inevitable poverty they will deal with if you can't work. Blippi is a program that teaches kids a variety of topics in a very fun, light hearted manner. The show's main character often travels to different places, educating children about different career paths and at home art activities.
Letting you kids make tie dye t-shirts allows them to work with their hands and entertain themselves outside of the television and phone. It's a fun activity that you all can participate in once you wrap up your work call. The instructions are simple enough that most older kids (8+) won't need much adult assistance.
Minecraft is a fun, open world game available across almost every gaming platform you can think of. Your kids can spend hours crafting their own perfect worlds and competing against others in competitions online. The Minecraft Education edition even offers kids the ability to learn to code.
Pokemon was a staple of my childhood ever since it was released in the United States in the late 90s. My nephew and I would spend hours on our Gameboy Pockets trading and battling. Fortunately, Pokemon is one of the few great things from the 90s that are still around today.
Pick up a copy for your kids, teach them the basics and let them have at it. To make the experience even more fun, let them watch the a couple episodes of the anime. Once you wrap your call, join in on the fun and enjoy the nostalgia.