Things To Do With Kids When You’re Shattered or Sick
There’s nothing harder than looking after kids when you’re tired or poorly.
Much as we love them, they’re not the most sympathetic of creatures and will still want to bounce off the walls – and expect you to join in too!
It’s been a tough few weeks at Casa Mumbler with a stomach bug sweeping through (two weeks of poorliness starting the first day of the summer holidays) and me having a medical procedure which brought three days of parenting while either fasting or recovering.
We’re back to normal now – fingers crossed and touching ALL THE WOOD – but I’ve had a good think about how we could have done things differently, and a few activities for them to burn off steam while I wilt quietly in a corner.
So, in case you have a similar experience (although hopefully you won’t!) here are some fun things for your little ones to do when you’re shattered, poorly, or just need a bit of time to yourself.
Build a cushion fort: Pull the cushions off the sofa and let the kids get busy! They will enjoy bouncing around on it all and it only takes a few minutes to put away later.
Have a dance party: Sit back, play some music on your phone and let them bust the moves. You could also blow bubbles, or break out some glow sticks.
Build a tent under the table: An old blanket draped over the dining table makes a cool tent for the kids to hang out in. They can take in cushions and pillows to make it extra comfy, as well as a torch, snacks and water bottles, toys, colouring and anything else to keep them busy, all while you relax.
Soft furnishings obstacle course: This is great if they’ve got energy to burn! Tell them to make tunnels with cushions and other obstacles to climb and crawl across. They could pretend the floor is crocodile infested water and leap from cushion to cushion to escape!
Start a cupboard of cheap toys: My mother-in-law is a master of stashing away cheap toys and crafts for emergencies or rainy days. She often has a few of each, so no squabbling about who gets what. It works a treat and I have started my own with sticker books, fancy pens and colouring stuff, playdoh and joke toys. A Whoopie Cushion was a big hit recently!
Set a design challenge: Can they build a boat using only paper? Or an airplane from matchsticks? A tower from straws? Add glue, sticky tape and scissors, then sit back and enjoy the creativity.
Let them put on a show: An old cardboard box makes a great theatre, but kids are inventive and will figure something out. They could enjoy acting, use puppets (or make their own!), or their hands to make shadow animals.
Have a bath with regular toys: Baths are always a brilliant distraction for my kids, especially if they choose toys that aren’t usually allowed in there. Obviously, don’t use anything electrical, and only things that are okay to get wet.
Do Yoga: Cosmic Kids is a great yoga channel on You Tube, with lots of themed yoga sessions especially for kids. Some of our favourites are Frozen, Moana and Harry Potter. Even the three-year-old gets stuck in!
Play with a flashlight: Close the curtains, turn out the lights and hand out torches. They can make patterns on the wall, shadow animals with their hands, or go on an indoor scavenger hunt.