One of the biggest challenges that a parent has (especially if they are at home and trying to make their living) is that as much as you love your kids, they can really be a handful to watch and take care of all day long. As great (or at least, as convenient) as it would be to simply plop them down in front of the television, most children simply will not sit still for nothing more than a bunch of flashing lights. In a lot of cases, you are just going to be a little bit more creative than that, because a lot of kids need to be engaged with something that they can do if they are going to be expected to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time. If you try to do anything with a lower level of energy than the most energetic child you have has, the boredom is going to become a critical distraction. So much for getting any work done!
Some great activities you can try for keeping your kids occupied are actually some of the simplest things you can think of. Little kids do not deal very well with the delays that a computer is ultimately going to impose on anybody who uses it. So you can use simple things such as jigsaw puzzles and coloring books to keep your less energized children occupied while you do what you have to do. As for the more energetic ones, you may have to get a little bit more creative for them.
More energetic children can go either way. Some of them will be happy to just go do chores for you, such as sweeping and mopping the floors, vacuuming, and dusting (where they can reach, of course). If you can make a game out of it, so much the better. But when it comes to the high energy tykes who hate to do anything that looks like work, you’re going to need to break out the sporting goods and open up the jungle gym. You have to wear them out.