Admittedly, toddlers need a great deal of supervision and interaction during play. It isn’t possible or desirable to impose a degree of independence on them before they are ready. However, toddlers have already begun developing the capacity to enjoy their own company for short periods of time.
Provided that the environment is safe and a parent is nearby (i.e., Dad is working on the computer while the children play in another part of the room), young children can be kept happy with minimal input.
More on Safety
First, prepare the area where you need to work. If you haven’t done so already, child proof the room. Install safety plugs in electrical outlets; make sure cords from blinds and draperies are well out of reach; close and lock windows to prevent falling; move heavy items that could fall or be pulled down from shelves, counters, dressers, and desks; and be sure that any poisonous, sharp, hot or otherwise potentially lethal items have been removed from the area.
Provide objects to play in. Several boxes in varying sizes will provide unlimited play possibilities. Be sure no box is too big for your children to climb into. If your toddlers can be trusted with a crayon, allow them to decorate the box when they begin to tire of playing in it.