Every parent knows it… when kids get sick, and need to stay home from school, things can get a little interesting. Whether it’s a tummy bug, the flu, or something that dictates that they need to be kept inside, out of the sunlight (like the dreaded ‘chicken pox’), sometimes the poor little guys just don’t want to follow the medical advice of ‘lots of fluid, and plenty of bed-rest’.
And can you blame them? I know for me, there definitely comes a point where i just can’t stay in bed any longer! Truth is, when a child is sick, they do need their rest. Their little bodies need a chance to recuperate and fight off all those infections. Finding ways to convince them to stay in bed (or at least, real calm) is not easy, but it is important.
The following activities are great for when your child has low energy levels, and can all be done from the warmth and comfort of their own bed. After all, a little fun and distraction might not be a bad idea…
1. Crazy Family Dry-Erase Book – I love this idea from allfortheboys.com (all the details). Your little one can doodle and draw on extra ‘funnies’ (a mustache on sister) or beautiful accessories (elegant earrings for Mom), then wipe it down and start again. All you need is a couple of printed photos of the members of your family, a small ring binder, some plastic sleeves, a strip of elastic and your Dry-Erase Markers in Assorted Colors (Affiliate link*). Brilliant idea!
2. Color Your Own Pinwheel – With a stack of pillows propped up behind your child’s back, coloring should be be a breeze. Just grab a cutting board or a cookie tray for them to press on, and ‘hey presto!’, you have an instant lap desk. Get the printable blank pinwheel here (there are also a whole bunch of pre-colored ones, if your child just wants the pinwheel) Thanks, woojr.com!
3. Paper Dolls – I’ve said it before… i love paper dolls! These ones of Pebbles and Bamm Bamm are just so cute, aren’t they? If your child’s old enough to use the scissors, great, cutting the outfits out is part of the fun. Get these and many more great paper dolls here (free-paper-dolls.com)
4. Mirror Drawing – This is such a fun activity, and perfect for doing in bed, or cuddled up on the couch. The kids will love copying their reflections in the mirror, and us parents will love the quick clean-up. Get your pack of Crayola Washable Window Crayons (Affiliate link*) now. (picture credit: Danya Banya)
5. Fashion Designer Paper Doll – So many templates… just print them out and let your child do the rest! There are hours of fun to be had – first designing and then playing! Check it out here (familycrafts.about.com).
6. Shadow Puppets – If your little one needs low lighting, and lots of attention and love, this one’s sure to go down a treat! Turn on a small lamp, and let your fingers do the talking. In case you, like me, have trouble remembering the basics, here are a few simple shadow puppets you can do to put a little smile back on your favorite patient’s face. (found at instructables.com)
a) The bunny – Who doesn’t love a fluffy little bunny? Be sure to wiggle those ears, and don’t forget to do the ‘funny-bunny-hop’!
b) A scary bat – Flap and flutter your way right into a giggle, with this simple yet effective shadow puppet.
c) The Swan – Add in the mighty ‘honk’ of the elegant swan, and your little one won’t be able to stop laughing. Laughter… the best medicine 😉
Looking for more shadow puppet ideas? Head on over to blifaloo.com and explore their gallery.
7. Rainbow Rice ‘I-Spy’ Bottles – These little bottles may take a while to put together, but are most definitely worth it! You can hang on to them for ages, and they’re great for so many situations. Take one along in the car for long journeys, or to the doctor’s office if you’re expecting a wait. And of course, these little bottles of rainbow treasure are perfect for sick days on the couch or in bed. Get the full tutorial here (Pink and Green Mama)
8. Therapeutic eucalyptus play – Is your child congested, knocked down by a nasty head-cold? Then grab the eucalyptus oil and head on over to growingajeweledrose.com for some fantastic, therapeutic play ideas. All these activities contain soothing eucalyptus oil, which helps clear blocked and stuffy noses, and works wonders on little ones.
9. Busy Bags – Always a winner, busy bags provide mental stimulation, improve fine motor skills, and teach children the skills of patience and perseverance. There are many busy bags out there. Check out my selection of 12 free printable busy bags your busy bee will love (including an original by brightnbrainy) or 7 busy bags your busy bee will love (lots of great ideas). Another super fun busy bag that would be perfect for a sick – day is this one by Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler.
10. Bunker down in a super cool fort – If they’re going to have to spend a day or two in bed, why not mix it up a little, and create a cozy fort in the living room to help pass the time. Grab some pillows, sheets, stuffed teddies and twinkly lights (because, why not?) an let your imagination run wild!
11. Pipe Cleaner crafts – Basically no mess, and so many possibilities! Just be sure to grab the biggest bag of colorful pipe-cleaners you can find, i’m sure they’re going to go fast. Check out these 10 easy pipe-cleaner activities from todaysparent.com for some inspiration.
12. Quiet-Time Sponge Blocks – A great alternative to the cold, hard plastic blocks that the kids are used to playing with, these colorful sponge blocks are perfect for little patients that refuse to sleep. Grab a metal cookie tray, and let your little one have their building fun in the comfort of their bed. Get all the details here (innerchildfun.com)
Having a sick child in the house is not easy. It’s never a nice thing to see your little one feeling down. With a little luck, these activities will put a smile back on that gorgeous little face.
Do you have any special sick-day treats or activities? Don’t forget to share them in the comments. Also, why not check out our article surprising ways to soothe a sick child. It’s full of great tips and advice.
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