All mothers have been there before: whether you are sick or just plain tired, you have to get a little creative with ways to keep your toddler occupied. Well sometimes you run out of things that may work, so here are 9 ways to keep your toddler occupied while you are sick or just need a break.
1. Let Them Write a Letter
One of my favorite go to ways to keep your toddler occupied is to grab a pad and pencil or open up Microsoft Word on the laptop and them go to town. It doesn’t have to be a "real" letter; their little scribbles and typos are all good to them. And when you are feeling better take it a step further and mail it to someone special. Grandparents love anything that their grandchild has done just for them, they’ll just have to make out the words themselves.
2. Have a Talent Show
While you are lying on the couch or in bed, you pretend to be a judge and let them show you their best talents. You get to be entertained and rest at the same time. This might even help you feel a little better too!
3. Pretend Camping
Set up a tent inside the house and let the kiddos pretend they are camping. Have the kids bring their favorite stuffed animal friends or a couple of books to read and you get comfy cozy with a blanket and pillow while they are "camping." If the weather permits take the tent outdoors; the sunshine might give a little boost of energy.
4. Allow Extra TV Time
I know what you might be thinking, and I too am not a big fan of letting the TV babysit for me. BUT when we are sick and just don’t have it in us to be supermom, then this can be the best source of occupying those little ones. If TV time is a luxury then this will definitely be a sure shot way to keep them entertained and get you some rest and relaxation.
5. Use Technology
There are so many gadgets to choose from today: smart phones, tablets, laptops, and more. Find toddler friendly apps or websites that your little one will enjoy and let them be as tech savvy as their little selves can be. My 4 year old loves dress up games and drawing games; she is such an artistic little princess. My 3 year old likes anything that has cars and trains on it. There are tons of apps to choose from and pbskids.org is a great website for games and more featuring the kids’ favorite characters.
6. Let Them Draw on You
Okay don’t freak out, I’m not a crazy lady. Not draw on you with a pen or marker but have them use their tiny little fingers to draw shapes, letters and numbers on your back. This means fun learning for them and an instant back rub for you. Win-win right?! Told ya I wasn’t crazy.
7. Give Them Their PhD
Let them play doctor on you. Lie down on the couch and have them take your temperature, check your vitals, give you medicine, and apply Band-Aids. Kids love to pretend and it’s just so darn cute. And the best part is, you get to relax while still engaging with them.
8. Bring out the Games
Board games are great for occupying those tots. Although I have to say this one might not buy you much time due to the possible difficulty of the game or if you have multiple children this could start a little not so quiet competition. So, if all else fails, bring out the play dough. What kid doesn’t love squishing their little hands in a big ball of red play dough?! Just be mindful of the clean up afterwards.
9. Set up a Play-date
If you have just exhausted all the creative ideas that you can conjure up or just simply cannot be sick and care for your little ones at the same time then this is a must do. Call a friend or family member to help you out. Ask for them to take your tot to the park or to their home for a few hours so that you can rest and not feel worried about your precious child.
So there ya have it. I hope that these ideas are helpful the next time you are in need of occupying your toddler. What is your go to thing to keep your tot occupied?