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Toddler Talk: Sit-Down Games

I recently Instagrammed this photo with the caption: “Under the guise of learning, Noah is having a scavenger hunt. But really we just want to sit in the sun while he brings us stuff.”

Because as much as I love my little boy, sometimes mama needs to sit one out. And what better way to sidestep the pretend voices and around-the-yard chasing than by making your kids feel like you are playing... except you’re sitting—or even better!—lying down.

Here are three games we like to “play” with Noah (and that Noah loves to play with us!), that all require minimal exertion on the parent:

Scavenger Hunt

This one’s great because it works inside, outside, rain, or shine. Come up with a list of things for your child to find (four dandelions, six dinosaur toys, a green book, three square blocks, etc.) and kick up your feet. And because they’re flexing their colors/shapes/counting skills, you can mentally label this “educational.”


Any parents of superhero-loving kids will appreciate this one: Similar to the scavenger hunt, send your kid on an around-the-house mission, where he/she has to complete certain tasks and follow specific instructions. They won’t even notice the adult conversation going on in their absence.

Playground Race

Some kids can get on a playground and be totally set to play, while mom catches up on emails or even cracks open a book. My son is not that kid. I’m the mom being whisked around by a tiny playmate—Look at this! Push me on that!—while I long for a park bench. But yesterday was an exception: I sat down on a bench, pulled out my iPhone, and opened up the stopwatch app. Noah then raced up and down the slide, trying to go faster each time—only to challenge himself to more playground races.

Not only did I get to watch my little boy practice his fine-motor skills, but I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing sunshine.

Do you have any games you play to keep the kids entertained while you take a rest?

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