As much as I enjoy being a hands-on parent, there are times–sickness, or at the end of a particularly long day–when I just don’t have it in me to budge from my spot on the couch.
Fortunately, there are some activities that provide some enrichment and bonding opportunity for the kiddos, but also allows me to relax a bit on the couch without turning on a screen to entertain the kids. Win!
Letter Game. Although I have also used this with magazines, newspapers, and even junk mail, I recently located some fun simple word flashcards at the store for very cheap. I have the kiddos look through the words in front of them, and ask them to find certain letters. The kids have added a competitive flair to it, by seeing who can find the letter first.
Games. I Spy is a particular favorite, but also a version of “Continue the Story”–where each person provides a sentence or two to a story. These can turn pretty amusing very quickly!
Quiet Reading. Unless I am feeling ill, I enjoy reading quietly to the kids on the couch. It keeps everyone entertained, calm, and fairly controlled. If sick, I have found the best modification for this is to either have the kids read to each other (also an amusing time), or to read to themselves. Just because they aren’t readers yet, doesn’t mean they can’t be readers of pictures!
Beauty Parlor. This is one of my favorite couch parenting activities, though only one child really enjoys it. Bean grabs some lotion and massages my feet and hands. It is so simple, but so relaxing!
For those times when independent play is not a viable option, it is good to have some backup “couch parenting” activities at hand. Let me know some of your favorites!