A lingering virus. The early or late stages of a pregnancy. A chronic illness. Or a cold that just won’t go away…
Things can easily get overwhelming when you’re sick and stuck on the couch.
You start to think in terms of the bare minimum…
Food offered, check. Diapers changed or potty accidents cleaned up, check! Dangerous messes cleaned up, check!
And for a day or two this kind of survival mode works.
But, if the days are stacking up, you may get desperate for ways to engage with your kids. Especially ways that don’t involve the free-for all snacks and the TV….
Hands on activities to the rescue.
18 low energy (no prep activities) you can do from the couch.
- Show your toddler some new finger plays.
- Play with tape or stickers. Its great for kiddos who lack the fine motor skills to peel it themselves. They can try and if they can’t do it they have you as a captive helper!
- Make band-aid art. Trace your (or your child’s) hand and let them doctor it with band-aids.
- Help them nurse a sick dolly.
- Play catch. If that feels too energy intensive, toss a ball back and forth. Ask a question each time you catch (giving yourself a chance to rest).
- Have your kids set up a target to toss balls, newspapers or bean bags at.
- Build together, or mirror image structures with blocks.
- Take turns adding to a collaborative drawing. Try covering the table with paper.
- Play a conversational game.
- Tell a story about when your child was a baby.
- Tell a story about yourself when you were your child’s age.
- Freeze dance (they can dance while you control the music).
- Play I spy. As a bonus, play this as a clean up game. I spy something blue, round, flat, and they have to find something that fits the clue to put away.
- Take turns telling jokes.
- Use some yarn, or string, to teach an older child how to play Cat’s Cradle.
- Look at family pictures on your phone, computer, or in an album.
- Play a paper and pencil game, such as hangman, tic-tac-toe, or the dots game.
- Take turns choosing songs to listen to on YouTube. This is great for all ages but particularly for older kids.
If all you can muster is laying on the couch and watching a show with your child, let go of your guilt. Allow that to be the activity. Watch with your child (even if you are only watching a few minutes while dozing in between). Ask them questions. Why do you like this particular show? What do you think the characters could have done differently? How would you change the ending?
Bonus Tip: Watch short videos on YouTube. Choose a topic that interests you both, such as animals, or Rube Goldberg creations. YouTube is also great for readings of picture books and animations of favorite stories.
Hopefully you’ll get better soon and back on your feet.
But until that cold finally goes away, give yourself a break and stay on the couch, you’re a great mom!
Ready to get off the couch? Try these simple activities to get back in routine.