How to Entertain Your Kids When You Feel Sick

Feeling sick is the worst, especially as a parent with young kids at home.
During the first trimester if this pregnancy, I felt super crummy and tired. Most days I hung out on the couch and simply functioned while all three kids played around me. Luckily, I'm out of the woods with morning sickness, so I wanted to share some tips for other parents battling sickness with young kiddos at home. 

Whether it's pregnancy, a stomach bug, or the flu, parents can still entertain kids while moving as little as possible from the comfy couch. (Doesn't that sound crazy? The things we do for our kids to be a good parent. . .) Obviously cartoons and movies help during sick days, but eventually the TV loses its charm, and the kids need another activity to pass the time. Here are the tips that have helped me during pregnancy sickness and stomach bugs:

1. The Color Game: this is one of my favorite games to play from the couch - and it's super easy! Take colored paper, cut each page into a different shape, and tape the shapes around the room. Then, give the kids directions from the couch such as "Where's the triangle?" and "Which shape is the color blue?" Tell the kids to run to each answer. You can even get trickier as you go with questions like, "Which shape is Mommy's favorite color?" or "Which shape is the color of a tree?" or "Which color has four sides that are all the same size?" Basically, in the color game, the kids run around the room, getting energy out, while you sick comfortably on the couch. Easy peasy! Plus, they learn shapes and colors as they go.

2. Relay Runs: This is another running game. Show the kids a pretend race-track around the house. (In our house, there is a fireplace in between two rooms that the kids run circles around.) Tell them you are the coach, and they are the racers. Line them up at the starting line, sit your butt back on the couch, and shout, "Go!" Let them run in circles around the track while you cheer them on. You can spice it up by having them run like bears, butterflies, or worms. Basically, they are moving while you are resting. Go team, go!

3. Sticker Time: If you used to scrapbook, find your old sticker collection. Give them the entire box with a bunch of paper. Let them go at it while you take a nap. Even if the stickers get stuck on couches or walls, remember that they're only stickers. They'll peel off! Take a nap next to them to give the impression of enforcing the "stickers go on the paper" rule.

4. Legos and Naptime: This game is super lazy and easy. Go into your kid's room with them. Pull out the box of Legos or Megablocks. Sleep on your kid's bed while they play. Trust me, this works. Almost every morning during my pregnancy sick days I laid on Simon's bed while the kids played. They knew they couldn't leave the room (except to go potty). And they loved it! They played and played and played and dumped out every toy box - but I got to take a nap. If you are worried about them leaving the room while you are asleep, then park your pillow in front of the door. They can't open the door without waking you.

5. Measuring Game: Give the kids a tape measure, and let them measure everything around you. Every kid loves pulling out the tape and watching it snap back into the case.

 And finally,
6. Tell Them You Feel Sick: Your kids are smart, and they love you. When they know you feel sick, they'll try to take of you. They'll play more quietly, they'll follow directions somewhat better, and they'll probably cuddle with you more. Enjoy their compassion, and let them know you appreciate their care. It'll help in the future!