The Golden Three Hours...
Ah yes, the golden three hours. I will NEVER forget it. (see note 'Oh Yay and rejoice..')
All I can say is that it was a combination of,... the children's telly programs on very low for an hour, noticing him getting bored with the children's shows, and so putting him out a few things to do on the table (earlier) and directing him there, then fortune smiled and he went from there and started an 'action figures' story with his small transformers and just seemed to get carried away, for ages, like an hour or more. Bliss!
I think it's all in the 'method of distraction' and planning the hopscotch of activities before you sit down to plough through work. My little blossom of joy is used to having me to 'play with' or to interact with, so without me giving him attention, he needs to know what else there is. He is very capable of getting 'into' a game he's made up, especially if there are available things for him to incorporate into his games. I leave a few cardboard rolls around from toilet rolls, kitchen paper rolls, etc., and a couple of emptly cardboard boxes from cereal and crackers so he can enjoy creating little 'vehicles' and 'buildings'. It's endless fun for him as the textas (felt pens) and sticky tape (cello tape?) are left out for him too. He gets stuck in and 'invents' his world for his toys.
This does mean that a few times YOU will have to do this activity with your child, so that they learn the way it 'works'. I often do things like this while I am cooking because I can go back and forwards to the table, and have those periods where he will have to work on his own without my attention, without my direction. And so he learns how this works too. I get a lot done this way. :) Child gets direction in self organisation and I get a lot of cooking done at the same time.
I hope this can help you figure out what your little bundle of pep and vigour can do. Little girls love to make stuff with craft, but I was suprised at how much my little boy ended up simply loving this activity too! Playdough, or plasticine is also a good standby as it can keep them occupied for an hour sometimes, if they have enough to make what they want, and have your intermittent attention. Let them incorporate some of their other toys into this little land they are making, as it can be a lot of fun to see what happens to some figurines when they get to play in plasticine land!
After a while I find all they really need is the phrase 'yes that's very good honey!' interjected at the appropriate intervals, while they hold up their creations, and I can get LOADS done on the computer or drawing board.