How can I get 5 minutes to myself?

By Step by Step Consulting

This blog is for parents of busy little bodies who love adult connection and attention. It can be hard to catch 5 minutes to yourself. Even going to the loo, can result in toddlers bursting through the doors to see where you are. Making a phone call will typically end up with your jumper being tugged and other cries out for attention. There is no doubt that spending time with your children is rewarding but sometimes you just need a break and a break without any parental guilt.

Five minutes to recharge your batteries before taking on the rest of the day! With the summer holidays starting this week, whether it’s from school, or play groups etc it is important to find these 5 minutes for yourself. The easiest way to do this, is switching on or handing over screen time- is there anything wrong with the easy way out? Absolutely not! Take it, be okay with doing this as a distractor activity if it means finding a few minutes for yourself to reset.

If your child finds giving back screen time challenging, this may not be worth the cup of coffee! For kids who find this difficult, or for families who don’t do screen time, there are of course other alternatives- independent play! As children, learning to occupy our own time and play independently is a big skill, we can encourage this through setting your little one up for success.
To help toddlers out with this, we recommend littering the environment with toys that your child can play with by themselves only. This means for those few minutes, the toys that your child needs adult help and assistance with are put away into a plastic box or another room.

For younger kids’, task completion toys are great, these have clear beginning, middle and end. Shape sorter, ring stacker, or a 4-6 insert puzzle set all have a clear ending, these task completion activities may be appropriate for children who have not developed imaginary or pretend play skills just yet. For those children who can engage in open-ended activities, they can be set up by priming them with ideas on what they can play with alone. This may be construction activities “you could make a tower or a car with the lego?”, “what about making a snowman or snake with the play doh?”- here we are helping them out by giving them ideas on how to play.

For some children, setting up play alone may not be enough. If your attention and connection is all your child wants, they may find the independent activity more difficult to do! If this is the case, set them up with an activity and every minute or so, check in with a comment on what they are doing (for example, you’re doing such nice playing over there, you’re so good doing your puzzle, etc) or giving them a thumbs up or a wink. This small engagement may be enough for your little one.

For more tips and support with times like this, reach out to us at or call us on 0852737466.