Tired? 7 games to play with your kids while you sit still

Posted May 3

Because sometimes all you want to do is just lie there. (Deseret Photo)

Parenting hacks are extremely popular right now.

From using a vacuum to get your kid’s hair done in seconds flat to using coconut oil for anything you could think of, the Internet has helped parents do the whole parenting thing pretty well.

But, maybe the most useful hacks out there are the ones that let you play with your kids while you lie down and basically sleep. You get some R&R while simultaneously making fun memories. It’s a win-win situation.

1. Picazzzzzzo

Play artist with your aspiring finger painter while still catching some Zzzs.

Get dressed in your most relaxing clothes and set up an art studio for your little artist to practice the art of still life. Be sure to lie very, very, very still among the covers so your creative kid can sketch out an accurate portrait.

Be sure to have your artist move around the easel to get all kinds of perspectives. I’d stick with colored pencils as a medium, unless you are into removing paint and marker from the carpet.

2. Princess

Now, your little girl might be the one to dress up in the shoes and dress, but now’s a good time to learn the value of taking turns.

Spend the afternoon as the princess and demand all the comforts of a well-deserved nap from your handmaid. If you are lucky, your daughter will adore finding lots of pillows and a pink blanket for her lady-in-waiting.

3. Hide Mom!

This game is part one of a brilliant napping/playing scheme.

Have your child enthusiastically cover you (head to toe) in several layers of pillows, blankets, towels, afghans and maybe even the laundry you haven’t folded yet.

For a longer snooze, stash the blankets in rooms farthest from the bedroom so your kid will need to scamper around the house to find more material.

4. Blanket detective

For part two, let your kid play archeologist.

Hide dinosaur toys between the layers of bedding you're buried under and have your children get to digging.

Letting the kids use their hands to unbury you would make for a shorter nap time, so be sure let them use a teaspoon or a tiny makeup brush.

5. Guess that item

Get cozy in your bed and play this game for an hour or two.

Have your little guy run around the house, looking for the most absurd object to bring to you. You’ll need to have your eyes closed so you can “guess” the item he’s brought.

Be sure to mention the rule about putting away everything before getting out a new object. And also remember to tell him, "Scissors, pens and sharp objects are off-limits." You don't want to be sleeping while your son pokes his eye out running with a pencil.

6. Alligator

For stomach-sleepers, this game is a must.

Lie face down on the carpet and play alligator with your kids. Your kids will need to try to get past you without getting touched by swinging arms or legs. The minute one little pair of feet comes near you (the sleeping croc), be sure to swing your arms out and snore/growl.

Note: you probably can’t do this with your eyes closed if your kids are prone to giggling wildly.

7. Stationary hide-and-seek

Get creative and snooze in the linen closet.

Play hide-and-seek with your kids, but obviously catch a minute of snoozing while they try to find you in the various bedrooms and closets or on the couches throughout the house.

Emily is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is a staunch believer in pie as breakfast food. Read more about her travels and tastings at


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