Moms don’t typically get to “call in sick.”
Even when Mom is ill, meals need to be prepared, kids need to be on time for school, basic household chores cannot be ignored, and boo-boos still need to be kissed. But sick Moms need the chance to rest too. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a few trusty activities that you can do with your kids while you rest on the couch or in the recliner.
With all the illness going around right now, I thought I would share 10 simple games and activities that I have used in the past with my girls when I was feeling under the weather (due to sickness or pregnancy!)….your mileage, of course, may vary depending on the age, interest, and temperament of your child(ren).
Ten Games to Play when Mom is Sick
1) Play doctor. My 5-year-old loves Doc McStuffins and will happily sing the theme song while she gives me check-up after check-up on the “doctor’s bed,” aka the couch.
2) Play Simon Says. Mommy, of course, gets to be Simon from the comfort of couch. Just remember to give lots of silly instructions to keep the kids interested and giggling.
3) Send the kids on a scavenger hunt. The fun activity may start with, “find me something yellow,” but can quickly turn into “find me a new box of tissue” when you run out!
4) Reverse roles. Kids love to play house, so let them be the mommy for a while and take care of you. They’ll especially get a kick out of ordering you to take a nap and then tucking you under the covers. Pretend to put up of fight, just like they do, but not too much…you really do want that nap!
5) Play beauty parlor/nail salon. Both of my daughters love to brush my hair, add accessories, and pretend to put make-up on me, and, as long as they’re being gentle, it feels sooo good for me too. Win-win!
6) Play I Spy. This low-energy game can also be a great review of early learning concepts like shapes, colors, size, letters, directional words, etc. (I see something that is blue. I see something that starts with the letter p. I see something on top of the book shelf.)
7) Listen to book recordings. Snuggling on the couch to read books is a great option when you’re low on energy, but if you have a headache or a sore throat, it can be less than ideal. We keep a bin of books on tape along with an old tape player (and headphones) close at hand. I highly recommend the Leap Frog Tag products as well, which are excellent and a favorite toy of both my 5-year-old and 18-month-old.
8) Have a dance party. This is a great option to help kids release some energy, but if listening to the pounding bass of the newest Kidz Bop CD isn’t going to help you recuperate, try turning on some slow, quiet classical music and giving the kids scarves to do some “interpretive dance.”
9) Build a fort. At first glance, this doesn’t sound very restful, but throw a couple blankets over a card table and you quickly and easily have a dimly lit hide-away where you are forced to lay down because of space! My girls and I pretend to be camping out, and they bring me food that they have “hunted and gathered.” A fort like this is also a great place to read books or do puzzles.
10) Be the audience. Most kids love to perform so let them show you their new dance moves, listen to their silly songs, or watch their dramatic retelling of their favorite story from your comfy perch on the sofa. Just be ready with a hearty “Bravo!” when they are done.
How do you entertain your kids when you need a bit of a rest?