Entertain Your Kids Without Getting Up
How to Entertain Your Kids When You Just Need to Sit Down
They’ve been fighting since breakfast, needing you to repeat everything you’ve said, you’ve crawled around pretending to be a horse and you’ve stomped through the house looking for Trolls because you’re a Burgen. You made it to Costco, Aldi, and Stater Bros. You’ve vacuumed (twice), mopped, picked up toys, and cleaned up the cat puke.
The littlest is napping and now you need to just sit down.
Here come the olders.
In search of entertainment via whining.
It never fails. When I just need to sit. When I just can’t move again, my oldest says, “What should we do mom?”
Break my heart why don’t ya!?
So, I came up with ideas to keep her busy and keep my butt on the cushion. I try hard to think of things that I can participate in without much participation. Sounds so lazy, but you all get me.
Even when they are both awake, there are times I just need to sit and watch. Or sit and not think.
Some days they are content with me just sitting on the playroom floor while they build and dance and play. Some days I’m the party clown.
One wants to watch Blaze and the other needs my attention.
There are a few tricks up my sleeve before I turn to Full House or the iPad.
Talent show! My 6-year-old loves to show me all her tricks and skills and even made me score cards. I knew I kept that stack of scratch paper for something. She does a trick or shows me something new she’s discovered she can do and when she strikes her “finished” pose, I hold up a score. She loves it.
Simon Says. Touch your nose, touch your toes, jump on one foot. This one is easy squeezy! You don’t have to get up and the kids tire out fairly quickly and join you for a break.
Coloring. My mom used to use a black marker or crayon and draw a long squiggly line all over a piece of paper. The line swirled and zigged, it crossed itself and then zagged. Then I colored in all the spaces. I loved that. It’s not my girl’s favorite, but sometimes she finds it amusing enough.
Scavenger Hunt. Send them looking all over the house. Make your list as long as you want. Even as educational as you want. Put things on your list that make your kids think about things. For example, something smooth, something used for such and such. The best part about this one is, after you root through their finds with them, they have to put it all back. Ha! Make your own or use mine!
Freeze Dance! You have opposable thumbs? Ok good. Pause and Play.
This was a staple at birthday parties when I was a kid. For any of you who have never played, just start some music and tell the kids they have to freeze when the music stops. Anyone still moving is out!
YouTube Just Dance! Not only is this super entertaining for you (trust me, the moves these kids try to do can be hilarious), it’s an ACTIVE activity for the kids. It gets them moving while having fun. This is a great one for rainy days, too. Go Noodle is another great option to get the kids up and dancing.
Card Games. My oldest loves to play GoFish, Uno!, and Old Maid. Guess Who? is a good, lazy day game, too!
20 Questions. This one is a little mentally exhausting depending on how old your kids are.
Cloud Watching. If it’s good weather out, grab a blanket and head to the backyard. Sprawl out and look for shapes in the clouds. I can’t believe how creative my 6-year-old is with clouds.
If I don’t have the energy for something participatory or anything I actually have to think about, I go to the old boob tube or the YouTube.
1 hour of a favorite show. Full House just happens to be the favorite in our house. I could be subjected to worse.
Favorite movie. Throw in some popcorn or another fun snack and Bam! You’re awesome mom, not in-a-funk-mom. It turns into a treat for the kids instead of a boredom hour.
iPad. This is not my favorite option. I try to limit my oldest’s time on this as much as possible but you gotta do what you gotta do. Puzzledom is a great app! I even like to play these games. They are challenging and fun and they really work your brain. The app takes you through different levels of problem solving games. I secretly hope my little girl lets me share with her when she starts playing.
Some of these entertaining options are meant to give you some quiet time, some are meant for you to be a little more involved. But they all let you park yourself in one spot for enough time to just regroup and relax a little.
Think of things your kids would love to show you. Ask them to show you something funny or creative. Let them draw with chalk while you soak up a little sun and fresh air.
The iPad days are the days I just need some peace and quiet. There are days I even break out her headphones so I don’t have to listen to the noise. I get more out of this than just that, I get to listen to her laugh hysterically and giggle at the funny kid videos she searches for on YouTube. It’s a win-win.
Do I feel guilty? Yes, sometimes I do. Sometimes a lot and sometimes just a little.
But not nearly as guilty as I feel when I run out of patience and yell for no reason.
There is nothing wrong with needing a break here and there. Some days the kids need a break, too. Throwing on a movie or an hour of t.v. is nothing to be ashamed about. Everyone needs a little brain shut down.
Go easy on yourself.
Parenting is hard. Joyful. Exhausting. Scary. Fun. Some more exhausting.
Share your favorite ways to entertain your kids in the comments!