Here’s a tip:
On Sunday night each week walk around the house and collect toddler friendly items and place them in a bag (not plastic) or a box. When you are finished with your collection place the bag in a place where you are likely to need a moment for yourself (in the bathroom, outside the kitchen door, etc.).
When the moment arises, prompt your little one to go check out what is in the bag.
They will have such a fun time “discovering” what is in the bag. And you will have a moment to do what you need to do.
This creates excitement over new-again toys and activities. It also helps build vocabulary in young ones as you talk about each item in the bag. You could take the time to create a theme for the bag, but honestly any jumble of stuff will suffice to entertain your little one for a few minutes.
We have one in the bathroom (for when I am getting ready) and one in the playroom outside our kitchen (for when I have to take something out the oven or need to do something that would be dangerous to have a little one underfoot). The one in the bathroom has some longer and shorter activities for both our little ones, as well as a book for our oldest who loves to “read.” The one in the playroom currently has a jumble of all the toys you get with kids meals.
When I sense the excitement waning over the bag, I switch out the contents and the excitement begins anew. And I have a moment to do what I need to do.
How do you occupy your little ones when you have to do something? Please share your toddler tips in the comments!