Sick or exhausted parents can always use a short break. This is your chance to jump in to make a difference. Offer to spend an hour or two with the kids.

Here are ten quick and easy things you can do with children:

  1. Watermelon seed spitting contest. Just slice up that watermelon, mark the starting line with string or tape, and see how far the seeds will fly. To add more fun, use a measuring tape to keep track of each try. Take lots of photos. Even better, record a video. This is perfect for anyone, but also great for kids who are undergoing medical treatments and want to get outside to have some fun.
  2. Rock art. Go for a short walk and look for interesting rocks of all shapes and sizes. Be sure to carry a pack or bag to make it easy to bring them home. Wash the rocks and let them dry in the sun. Get out some paintbrushes, acrylic paint, and get creative! After the painted rocks have dried, add them to the garden, or line a sidewalk or path. Painted rocks make FABULOUS gifts!
  3. Chalk art. Turn an ordinary sidewalk into an artistic extravaganza. Use some colorful sidewalk chalk and let the kids loose! When the rain washes the sidewalk clean, just start all over again.
  4. Picnic. It doesn’t take much to put together some sandwiches, chips, fruit, and a drink. Find a blanket to sit on and enjoy your picnic outside.
  5. Face painting. You don’t need talent! The Internet is chock-full of face painting ideas that even kids can do. Just supply the paint and the brushes and be willing to donate your face as well!
  6. Bubbles. You can either make the bubble mixture or pick it up at the store. Some containers come with the wands or you can just use household items like a clean fly swatter, hanger, strainer, slotted spoon, kitchen string, or 6-pack plastic can holder rings. Look online for bubble recipes and wand instructions.
  7. Finger paint. Messy and perfect for the outside. Provide some paper, old shirts to cover clothes, some paints, and enjoy! This light activity is sure to add a grin to any child’s face.
  8. Go for a walk. Even a walk around the block gives a change in scenery. Bring a bag and let the kids collect interesting things that they discover.
  9. I Spy. Remember that great old game? It only takes two people. To play I Spy, one person silently chooses something that can be seen by the other player/s. Then, each person has to guess what the object is. You can give clues if no one is able to guess. The person who guesses correctly gets to choose the next object.
  10. Read a book together. Bring a new one to share or have the child pick an old favorite off the shelf.

Feeling out of your element? Use this list to get you started, or search online for "simple things to do with kids." Donating a couple of hours of your time to a worn out parent not only brings relief to the weary, but it adds a fun moment to the child’s day.

Copyright 2014 Allidah Hicks and Bonnie Knuti. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Allidah Poole Hicks and Bonnie Knuti are the experts in simple, practical, and fun answers to the question, "What can I do to help?" when a crisis strikes. Learn how to make a difference when an illness, accident, or death hits someone you know. Download a free chapter of their award-winning book, When Crisis Strikes...What To Do, What To Say, How to Help: