Have you heard of blanket training? I recently was introduced to this through another blog written by a homeschooling mom. The basic concept is to train young children to play in a designated space (on a blanket) with a given toy (or toys) for a set amount of time as a way to create a safe place for the little one to play while you help another child or attend to something else.
Kind of like putting them in a play pen, but without the play pen. Sounds like a good idea to me.
From what I've read, the ideal age to start is before they can crawl, but since that's past in my house with both of my children I'll need to remember patience and persistence if we're going to get anywhere with this one. I'm hoping that having blanket time at home will help in other situations when children need to stay in a small space (such as at church.)
You can read more about blanket training here, here, and here.
Have you tried blanket training? Know anyone who has? I'd love to hear what your takes on it are!