Their plight only came to light when three of the children, from Scunthorpe, Humberside, went to police because they were concerned at being left alone by their parents.
The parents visited the children only briefly during their five-day ordeal, police said. The couple allowed Humberside Social Services to take the children in to voluntary care.
Police sources said the children had been left for a substantial period of the Christmas holidays.
A spokesman for Humberside Social Services said three of the children went to the local police station to complain about being abandoned and about other matters.
He could not give details of other issues involved as proceedings were likely soon, he said.
'It is not just a straightforward case of abandonment there is a lot more to it which I cannot discuss.'
The case is the sixth in a series which has come to light over the Christmas period. These inlcude three children, aged one, four and five, discovered in squalor by carol singers in Leeds.
In Brighton, East Sussex, police discovered a two-year-old boy locked in a bedroom in 'appalling conditions' on Christmas Eve. Four children aged from 12 years to 12 months were found alone at their home in Sheffield on Christmas Eve. Police discovered three children, boys aged five and four and their two- year-old sister, alone in a cold, dirty flat in Wolverhampton.Reuse content