Five ways to Entertain Your Little Ones When You Can’t Get Out of Bed

Last updated: October 2017

I am often asked how I managed to get through my daughters younger years while living with multiple chronic illnesses. My answer? A lot of creativity and bribery! I would bribe her to take a nap with me when my body was overcome with fatigue. I created games and activities that didn’t require me to leave my bed or the couch. While I wasn’t the mom who took her children to the park every day or played basketball in the driveway, I did find ways to have fun without increasing my pain level. Here are my daughter’s and my favorite activities from her toddler years:

1. Fashion show:

My daughter loved dressing up. Each year after Halloween I would stock up on discounted costumes. Some of her favorites were her Indiana Jones costume, Mulan, and The Little Mermaid. Not only did she enjoy dressing up she was always striking a pose and begging me to take pictures. When I was flaring and didn’t have the strength to get out of bed I would have her dress up and then walk the length of my bed like it was a catwalk. She would stop and strike a pose while I snapped pictures. Afterwards, she would spend hours looking through the photos.

2. Coloring and drawing:

We would lie on my bed and color or draw for hours. When my hands hurt too much to hold a crayon I would tell her a story and she would illustrate it.

3. Treasure hunt:

A great way to entertain my daughter and clean up the house while I was bed bound was to create a treasure hunt. I would draw a treasure map, but instead of an island I drew the floorplan of our house with an X on the spot of an item that needed to be put away. I would give her clues such as the color of the item or its shape.

4. Picnics in bed:

My daughter loved having picnics in my bed. We would lie on my bed with the window curtains open so we could watch the clouds as we snacked on grapes and cheese. As she grew older she took over filling our tray with food.

5. Storytime:

This varied depending on how severe my flare was. Sometimes I would read to her or make up stories to tell her. Other times I would start a story and we would take turns making up the rest of it. My favorite story times were when she would create her own. I loved listening to her tales.

How do or did you entertain your little ones?

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