Learning and Playing while Mom is Down and Out

Learning and Playing while Mom is Down and Out


Being a mom when you are down and out is tough.  Whether you are sick for a day or have a long-term illness or medical condition that causes you to spend most of your time on the bed or couch, it is hard to physically and mentally care for young children…let alone spur on learning and playing together.

For over a month now, I have spent the majority of my time laying on the bed or the couch.  I was put on bed rest when I was 13 weeks pregnant after a major scare revealed that I had a subchorionic hematoma.  Things are definitely improving and I expect to be back to some regular activity very soon, but until I get the okay from the doctor…I continue to spend the majority of my time resting.

Obviously, having a 3-year old and 5-year old makes bed rest quite difficult.  Thankfully, we are blessed with incredible people around us who have made this time much more bearable for all of us through their thoughtful acts of kindness and service to our family.

I’ve teamed up with Thomas & Friends to share some ways that I have found to entertain my boys from the comfort of my couch.  These would be great ideas for any mom or caregiver who is sick, tired from sleepless nights, or on bed rest.


1.  Read together.  One thing you can do together no matter where you are or how you are feeling is read.  Grab an assortment of genres and enjoy them together.  If your child is able to read, have him/her read a book to you for every book you read aloud to him/her.  Big Brother was able to read this Thomas book all by himself!




2.  Act out the stories that you read using small toys and/or pretend play.  Although I’m typically not a huge fan of character books due to the fact that most of them don’t have the best literary features, they are great for reenacting stories and recalling details about that story using a hands-on approach.  The Thomas and Friends series of books have been a favorite for my boys.





3.  Invest in some busy bag activities.  Last year I participated in a busy bag exchange with some friends from church.  I am so thankful that I have had those on hand to keep the boys occupied and doing something productive to their learning.  I have also used some of the activities in our quiet boxes as well.  If you haven’t already made any of these, you can find some pre-made sets on Etsy.



4.  Order a new toy to make this a special time for the kids.  My typical motto is the fewer toys, the better.  I cannot stand toy clutter in my house.  But with mom out of commission for an extended period, this time calls for a little something special.  Why not get a new toy to make it fun for everyone?  For younger kids, the Thomas & Friends Busy Conductor toy has been a hit.




Most of all, give yourself grace and recognize that this will only last for a short time.  Don’t get discouraged if things aren’t exactly as you would typically do them or the household rules are relaxed for a short time.  Things will most likely get back to normal eventually…and even if they don’t, you will find a new rhythm and your “new normal” before you know it.  The most important thing of all is that you are making the most of your time together and that your children are loved and cared for…even if the situation isn’t ideal.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mattel. The opinions and text are all mine.



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