As a parent to a young child, some of our favorite games are ones we can play lying down, preferably while pretending to be asleep. Luckily for you, we’ve gathered up our favorite activities that require minimal effort from you while still engaging your kids in ways that promote their development. Read on, and enjoy!
If you’re a parent to a young child, it’s probably been a long time since you’ve thought to yourself “I just have SO much energy right now!”. You’re likely chugging down your favorite caffeinated beverage, fantasizing about the next time you’ll have a couple minutes to yourself, daydreaming about a full night’s sleep, or mentally exhausted simply thinking about your never ending to-do list.
The last thing you probably want to do is make even more work for yourself, and sometimes playing with your child can feel just like that: work. But parenting doesn’t have to always be about the drudgery of day-to-day logistics. Children naturally bring play to your life (along with the chores), and you don’t have to let those opportunities to connect with your child pass you by, simply because you’re too tired to stand up. While playing with your child may sound like another task that will only suck more energy from you, sometimes, all you need is your voice to engage with your child.
We’ve got you covered with these five games you can play while sitting or lying down, that only require your voice. Not only are they low-impact for you, they are also developmentally stimulating for your young child.
So kick back, grab your eye mask, get cozy under a blanket, and try out these games with your kiddo.
Ideal for: 0-6 Months
This game helps develop your child’s gross motor skills while enhancing the bond you share through physical touch.
Ideal for: 7-18 Months
“Where is Thumbkin?” is a beloved classic nursery rhyme that teaches your child how to mimic your finger movements. This can enhance fine motor skills along with social-emotional skills through imitation. For younger children, simply let them watch your actions. For older children, look to see if they attempt to copy you.
Ideal for: 7-18 Months
This game begins to teach your child the foundations of empathy, an important social-emotional skill for establishing and maintaining healthy relationships.
Ideal For: 19-24 Months
Simon Says may seem like a simple game, but it’s actually quite the cognitive challenge for your little one. Listening, paying attention, and following instructions are all important skills that he is developing around this age.
Ideal For: 25-36 Months
This takes the game of Simon Says and makes it even more complex for older children. Watch your child’s cognitive skills grow by incorporating the abstract concept of colors into your game, along with 2-step directions.
This article is part of a series in collaboration with Playfully.
Playfully makes it easier for busy parents to set their children up for a lifetime of success. By partnering with child development experts and distilling their knowledge into personalized, bite-sized, actionable chunks, Playfully helps you support your child’s growth and development through play and makes sure you have FUN while doing so.