Easy Activities for Poorly Parents

Oh there's nothing worse than feeling under the weather when you have little ones at home to entertain with little or no childcare.

It's tough. On these days you do what you can to get through the day and it might mean sacrificing those baby groups or not doing your daily visit to the park. Let yourself rest so your body can recover, don't beat yourself up about it. Just do what you can to meet your child's needs and look after yourself.

If you are looking for some ways to entertain the little ones then here are 10 easy ideas you can set up to entertain the kids which require minimal energy so you can rest!

1. scavenger hunt

Ahh perfect when you need to sit still but there's a little one in the house with lots of energy! A scavenger hunt around the house looking for items from every room. Give them a clipboard or basket to tick off the items as they find them. And don't worry if you can't draw, the kids really dont care!!

And then what to do with all those items? Use them to make up a story!

2. playing doctors

Lie flat whilst your little one prods and pokes, feeds you pretend medicine and generally wants to make you feel better! It might not cure your illness, but it might just let you lie still for a moment!

And don't worry if you don't have a doctors kit! Tea towels for bandages, lollipop stick thermometers and a simple name badge works fine!

3. sticker books/ colouring books/ magazine

These might just get you some time to sit beside them and rest as they entertain themselves. As you know with all of these, simply sitting next to time shows you're interested in what they are doing. Lots of praise will always help with this one!

And for stickers, dont't forget to peel the negative from the back to make it easier for little hands to peel the stickers independently.

4. balloons

Ooh there's just something special about balloons. Perhaps because they probaly only come out around birthdays. These will always keep little ones entertained as well as help them to burn off some energy so you can sit and watch!

5. cardboard box drawing

Surely if you're anything like me, you've always got a ridiculous amount of cardboard in the recycling box! Go grab a big box and let your little ones go crazy with the felt tips, stickers, glue, scissors etc. Let them come up with their own ideas on what they want to do on it! Fingers crossed you get to sit and watch and rest!

6. post box

A box or tub with a slit or hole in the top can provide more entertainment than you think! Whether little hands are posting envelopes, junk mail and postcards or perhaps something different like pom poms, buttons or balls. All will keep little ones busy for enough time for you to relax and save some energy!

7. rice sensory box

It certainly doesn't have to be rice, infact anything lurking at the back of the pantry would work great for this one! Pour plenty out into a play tray or baking tray and pair with teaspoons and cups and you have set up a super simple yet effective activity using minimal energy! Failing that, a shallow water tray works great too but be prepared for a wet floor and wet clothes which might be too much if you're under the weather!

8. lounge demolishing

Ha ha! A personal favourite! This can either be den building in the lounge with blankets and chairs or throw all the cushions on the floor and clamber all over them! Both are perfect for burning energy and providing entertainment so you don't have to!

9. fresh air

I know it's probably the last thing you want to do but sometimes heading outdoors can have a wonderful effect, not only on you and your recovery but also for the little ones. Whether it's a short walk to the end of the road or simply dragging a chair or rug into the garden and sitting for a story. Recently, I took out the Lego box and Mason loved the novelty of using outdoors which we never normally do! It provided a lot of entertainment whilst I sat and watched.

10. TV time

Finally, don't be hard on yourself. Using TV or ipads to keep little ones entertained so you can rest is absolutely fine. You are doing your best and you are surviving. Push the sofas together, get the blankets out and have a snuggle as you rest and watch TV.


I am adding an additional activity which has been brought to my attention since publishing this blog post. Thank you to Louise for sharing a brilliant game called ‘what’s on my bum?!’ The parent lays face down on the sofa and the child places items on the parents bum for them to guess what it is! A genius way to rest and close your eyes for a moment!! Told you it was a good one!!

A big thank you to the wonderful contributions by the playHOORAY! Community group who offered their 'go to' ideas so I could create this blog post!

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