Cover Image: Horizontal Parenting

Horizontal Parenting

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Member Reviews

Who didn't dream of letting the kids play while you relax 10-15 minutes? Like I'm gonna close my eyes a biiiig 5 minutes. only fiiiiveee - and then bam, 20 minutes later there's a crisis to unfold. With these incredibly imaginative games, that need almost nothing to play, your kids will be entertained while you nap, or, at least, relax. The touchs of humour throughout the book are priceless!

Many thanks to Chronicle Books for the complimentary e-copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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One star for at least thinking about it. One star for writing a book. I really don't know what to say except, I wouldn't recommend this as anything but a farce.
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New games to play with children that take little to no effort yet keep a child busy are IMPORTANT and NEEDED because those people who have kids need a BREAK.

Games include: How Tall Am I?, Couch Fishing, Held Captive, and The Claw will all captive and entertain a child for (hopefully) the next five minutes.

This book is full of glorious sarcasm, parenting tricks, and real-world knowledge of children.
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"Horizontal Parenting" does just what the description claims. It gives tired parents fun ideas for playing with kids and resting at the same time! This book is a short and simple read with illustrations.  
I've read many non-fiction books full of hacks and ideas. Many of them are repetitive and seem more like a collection of information anyone with internet access could find. This book had ideas that were creative and unique. I saved many of the suggestions to use with my kids. I would recommend this to anyone looking for some new ideas to engage kids.
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I may not be a parent now or any time soon, but I really feel like I learned a bunch from this book. It was witty and comical, yet creative and fun for kids of all ages! Plus, all the activities in the book are easy to do.
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Genius! This is absolutely fantastic! What parent doesn’t want to parent from the floor or couch sometimes! Parenting is exhausting and this book is fantastic at giving ideas on how to play with your kids while still being able to relax
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Hysterical. I read this while my kid was running around, which always makes me tired, but at least this time I was laughing while yawning. This would be a good a great gift for parents at their children's first birthday party.
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Guys: I don't even know how to explain to you how validating this book is.  I've been helping raise kids, while also living with chronic debilitating illnesses & disabilities for 27 years now.  Very often, that raising occurs from a horizontal position, out of necessity.  Oh, today we're have vertigo for no goddamn reason? Great day to play Auntie NTE is the troll under the bridge who won't let you pass. Oh, goodie, the treatment I had last week that was supposed to only have 1 day of side effects has going on 9+ now? Excellent: Lemme introduce you to a little game I like to call 'I'm going to watch you build a city out of literally anything you want, and then we're going to critique it together for its supervillain weaknesses.' That's just how much of my childrearing has happened, and there have definitely been times I've felt ... less than, or judged by other parents.

But this book? Is just ALLL the nonsense I taught my niblings & godchildren & random young children I was in charge of so that I could play with them from the most flat position possible, plus a bunch I didn't think of, that I am definitely going to cycle into usage after pandemic-time (I'm lucky the 15 year old still wants to play regular board games with me, I doubt she'd go this far).  And it's not like you have to be disabled &/or chronically ill to find this book helpful: I'm sorry, but if you're a parent and you're going to try to tell me that you've never felt 1 billion times more exhausted than your child, I just ... somebody should be studying you in a lab somewhere, probably.  I don't know anybody who hasn't laid down on the couch and let their kid take their fake blood pressure and listen to their 'Harm beeps*' for 15 minutes, just because letting them play doctor means you get to sit.  still.  Because every mom/dad/aunt/Grammy/caregiver I know? Wants a NAAAAAAP.  Would sacrifice a succulent to Satan for just ten minutes of resting their weary bones.  I don't know any kind of parent other than 'permanently exhausted': I'm not even sure they exist outside of legend.

Which makes Horizontal Parenting perhaps the most beneficial parenting book you could gift to a parent, ever.  I mean, it's also funny, and it's got cute illustrations and it doesn't take itself too seriously, so it's got all that going for it, but let's be real: the selling points are the games.  Tell us your secrets! Games like "Crime Scene" where you hand your kid a roll of painter's tape and sprawl out on the floor while they 'investigate' around you; extra bonus points for moms who've been listening to true crime podcasts with their littles in the car, because I absolutely can think of three kids off the top of my head (average age 10) who would play the shit out of this game. She's got a "Roll the Burrito" game that my kids and I used to play in pizza form (loosely based on the book Pete's A Pizza; Find you a burrito book, this one is also about counting,  and now you've got three horizontal activities in one... you're halfway to a whole learning unit!)  Play "Don't Wake the Giant" (you're the giant), and then after you've rested, dig out Don't Wake Daddy  and let your kids know real, true anxiety.  Go for the revenge play, and become the "New Baby" they have to care for.  So! Many! Ideas! (Easily adapted for low energy days/middle energy days/high energy days.)

Got A Little Artist? Let them capture your good side.

I also love that the author refrained from calling this "lazy parenting", which I have no doubt is a judgey label that many would apply to this kind of behavior, but they'd be wrong.  Do you know what your kids need from you? Love. Time. Attention. Can you give all those things while also being flat on your back/side/stomach? Absolutely.  Don't let ableism and capitalism screw with your definition of what parenting - and especially good parenting - is.  Paying attention to your kids while also meeting your own needs for rest, so that after you're finished being horizontal, you can be more fully engaged with whatever comes next? Is GOOD PARENTING, I promise.

In fact, in the spirit of community parenting, I'm just going to add in my niblings' favorite from my really exhausted days.  Backwards Rolling Zoo.  It means they have to transport literally every animal - stuffed, action figure sized, ginormous, who cares - into the room, one laundry basket at a time, past you, telling you about what kind of animal it is, and any facts they know about they animal. Heck let 'em make stuff up, tell you all about the Heffalump and Woozles - it doesn't matter, because all you're required to do is lay there, make agreeable noises as they parade past, and sometimes ask a question you know they know the answer to, because you've read them the books they're telling you the animal facts from, so you already know them too! My nephew called it the Backwards Rolling Zoo; his sister called it the Stuffie Parade, even though 3/4 of the animals weren't stuffies.  It doesn't matter, because it buys you a good half hour/hour of stillness, because they have to gather the animals, and "good zookeepers would never let the animals wander, so they have to make sure they go back in their cages/homes" so they also have to put them away, and they get to show off how smart they are: Wins all around!

I acquired my copy through NetGalley, for an honest review, which is that this book is excellent, especially if you have an exhausted caregiver of young people in your life. In fact, I'm mad it doesn't come out til September.  I need copies to give out now.

*My oldest nephew, who turns 25 this year, holy shit, used to call heartbeats "harm beeps".  Ugh.  Growing up is stupid.
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A funny little book for tired parents of active toddlers and kiddos. Part satire part useful suggestions for activities, it has the right amount of text to keep even bleary-eyed parents focused. A good book to give as a joke to new parents.
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Horizontal Parenting is a hilarious tongue in cheek guide for tired worn out parents.
It is full of fun and clever ideas on how to entertain your kids while lying down and resting. 
While this is obviously ideal for most tired, run down, worn out parents, I do believe this actually beneficial for those caregivers who are on bedrest or otherwise laid up and still wish to have fun with their kids.
So pick up this book for its comedic factor, but stay and actually try some of these games! You might find brand new ways to connect with your kids, grandkids, or any other bored small humans in your life!
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Just requested this book an hour or two ago and read it in, almost, one sitting. It’s hilarious. My kids are five and six now and I could still see implementing some of these if needed. I don’t know if it would be a good baby shower present (for a first kid) as you may need to live through a bit of toddlerhood first but definitely a great present for any parent or guardian having a second (or more) or welcoming a toddler that won’t stop moving. Hilarious. Informative. Adorable.
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Horizontal Parenting: How to Entertain Your Kid While Lying Down by Michelle Woo is a how-to book on how to play with your kids, even if you are tired. By allowing parents to lay there, kids are encouraged to use their imagination in a variety of ways. Examples including pretending to be a road so your kids can drive their cars around your back or posing as a model so your child can paint your portrait. Many of the ideas are simple, don't require many supplies are easy for even smaller children to participate in. I also enjoyed the Bonus Points section for making the activities more interesting or challenging for older kids. 

The book features sweet illustrations by Dasha Tolstikova that add great dimension and instruction for the activities they portray. 

With over 50 activities included, this book would be a wonderful gift to a new parent but is also a great book for anyone looking for easy, simple activities to do with children that don't require a lot of energy or space.

Note: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Spectacular and Amazing. 

My siblings are ten and thirteen years younger than me. So, I can relate to the never-ending need to play, jump, and destroy any sense of peace that children possess.

This book would have saved me so many headaches and provided me with so many more minutes of precious sleep (my siblings are older now). 

It has tons of practical and ingenious ways to entertain kids, and dare I say, adults too. I am looking forward to getting my hands on it for future reference.
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This is the most painfully relatable book, esp for a mom with chronic fatigue. I have plans to utilise every. Single. One. Of. These, and am so excited. Awesome illustrations and funny options with great references, this is a win win for the ages. Crushed it!
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Have you ever watched Bluey and wondered how to be as fun of a parent as them? Well, this is filled with ideas of silly activities and games that you can do WHILE laying down! This would be a great gift for the tired parent in your life!

I couldn't tell if this was intended to be serious or satirical, but in the end, it provided a nice blend of both. I giggled while I nodded and filed some ideas away for later. I know my kids will love "Don't Wake the Giant" (kids creep around trying not to wake the giant who comes to life with a roar), "I Lava You" (parent lies with pile of pillows on them and occasionally erupts), "Construction Site Night Night" (lay on stomach, kid uses parent's legs as crane), and "The Claw" (parent lays on couch holding tongs, kid gives directions to parent like in a claw game to try to grab prizes on the floor below).

The activities just needed random household items. Some of the activities weren't especially restful or would be kind of messy, but I appreciated the variety. The illustrations were super cute and added to the fun vibe of this book.

Thanks to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for this eARC!
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This is a funny read for the very tired parent who just wants a way to get a bit of rest. I was surprised to find some ideas that were actually games that kids will enjoy. It will make a great gift for expectant parents, especially if it's their second or third.
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In Horizontal Parenting: How to Entertain Your Kid While Lying Down, Michelle Woo creates innovative ways to keep children occupied, stimulated, and learning all while lying down-- on the floor, cough, bed, wherever. The convenient tactics she lists in the book are effective not only for parents but also for babysitters, cousins, and more. It is near impossible not to have off days when taking care of children, so why not match (exponentially) those days with your child's energy? Even lazy days can be fun ones, and Woo undoubtedly demonstrates that sentiment here.
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I think this book will end up getting marketed along the lines of a silly novelty, and it kind of is, but it's also a really good resource. When you're exhausted -- especially if you're a parent with chronic illness -- it can be hard to think of creative ways to play with your kids in a way that doesn't exhaust you more. This book is packed with cute, clever ideas, some of which my three year old son absolutely adored. The illustrations are adorable, and the games are easy, fun, and totally doable.
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A bit of a one-note joke, but one that I felt into my bones.  As a parent of a elementary school child and a toddler, my primary emotion is SO TIRED. SO SO TIRED.  So the playtime ideas and underlying humor spoke to me.  Not sure it needed more than 100 pages, but the art was charming and I may actually do some of these activities with my kids.
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This was such a cute book with some clever ideas off games to play with your kids while lying down. The illustrations are great. Some of the games are silly and a few of them made me laugh. This book is perfect for all parents. It would even make a great gift for first time parents.
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