Make the Most of Your Free Time

What to do when your preschooler is in preschool

How to make the most of your free time when your preschooler is at preschool.
How to make the most of your free time when your preschooler is at preschool.. Purestock

You just dropped your little one off at preschool, giving you exactly two hours and thirty minutes to get stuff done. But what "stuff" exactly? And while you may feel like you have a ton of time to run around without your little one in tow, it really isn't all that long of a period. Still, it's time where you can accomplish a lot of different tasks and maybe even find some time for yourself too.

From organizing closets, to sorting out toys in the toy room, from picking up dry cleaning and heading to the post office, there are a lot of different types of tasks of all different sizes and time commitments you can try to tackle while you are alone.

Of course a lot of what you choose to do will depend on your preschooler's personality. If he's a laid-back kid who doesn't mind going to the grocery store or running a few errands in the car, then maybe save that for when he is home. If she will sit and play quietly by herself for a few minutes while you clean up a bit, then again, save that for when she is around instead of choosing tasks that, if you child is with you, could lead to a temper tantrum. For example, if your child has no patience for running to the laundromat, then consider taking care of that chore while he is in school.

To stay on-task and make the most of your time, draw up a to-do list and write down the specific goals you wish to accomplish. Don't overreach. Certainly you want to get a lot done, but you also want to make sure you are there on-time for preschool pickup.

Tasks to do When Your Preschooler is in Preschool

  • A quick house cleanup: If company is coming, your tactics will be more about moving the mess than actually putting it away, but if you are just looking do do some cleaning and tidying in a short amount of time, there are definitely methods you can employ that will get your house clean in under an hour.
  • Make any business or important phone calls you need to take care of.
  • Run errands: pick up dry cleaning, go to the laundromat, stop at the post office, get gas, go to the bank, return clothing to the store -- any quick stops that require a lot of in and out of the car.
  • Organize your kitchen. If your time is limited, assign yourself an area a day. Maybe you sort through plastic containers and bowls one day, and clean the fridge another. Other places to organize: the pantry, pots and pans, plates, cups, and the silverware drawer.
  • Do holiday or gift-giving shopping. Even if Christmas is months away, start your shopping now. Is someone celebrating a birthday in a few weeks? Buy those gifts now! Celebrity mom Joan Lunden says this is something she does often and that it is a real time-saver: "I picked this up from someone who was on the show once. I wait for toy store sales and I go and I buy. I never go to the toy store to buy birthday gifts one by one. I would tear my hair out if I did that! I go to the toy store and I buy ten of a great boy gift at the age level that my kids are at at that time. And then ten girls ones. And I have them wrapped and I put little stickies on them so I know what they are and I put them in my closet at home."
  • Are you approaching the change of season? Go through everyone's closets and sort through the clothes. Remove anything that isn't worn often, is the wrong size, or is no longer wearable.
  • Try something new. Have you been meaning to switch over to online banking? Maybe you wanted to try making a new dish? No matter what it is, take this time to concentrate and focus on the task at hand.

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