8 Tips For Keeping Kids Entertained While They Are Home Sick

sick child

Winter time brings many common childhood illnesses, such as colds, stomach bugs and sore throats. What do you do when you child is home sick from daycare or school for a day or two...or even longer? Here are some tips to keep a kid's boredom away during recovery time.

  1. Create a fort, pirate cave, or tent with your child in the living room using lots of pillows, sheets, and blankets. Tuck in a sleeping bag and flashlight. If your kid feels well enough, let him wear his favorite costume or cape, and then either play a game, read an adventure book, put together a puzzle, or watch your favorite movie together.
  1. Create a stash of sick day boredom-beater activities for a kid who is not feeling terribly bad but must be contained in the home due to a contagious illness or is on health watch. Items can include easy craft projects, puzzles, Lego kits, paper dolls, marker or coloring projects (tuck in a new pack--that's always sure to bring a smile), and other simple and inexpensive items. Be sure, however, not to plan the idea in a kid's mind that it is so "fun" to be sick that it could encourage a case of the "pretends" in the future.
  2. Purchase some inexpensive tub toys just for sick times. It's always refreshing and sometimes necessary to take a bath, especially when feverish, and slightly-ill children will enjoy having a new tub friend to share the experience with.
  3. Tell your child of special treatments on sick days. Parents have shared special times: all-you-can-eat applesauce, new PJs, polishing a child's hands and toes, letting the sick child have a temporary bed on the floor in the parents room with lots of snuggly blankets and pillow, or getting to watch a new movie together.
  1. If you have a tile floor, give your child a bucket of sidewalk chalk and let him draw on it. Cleanup is easy with a wet mop.
  2. Place feverish kids' pillowcase in the fridge for a few minutes. It's refreshing and not as messy as a wet washcloth.
  3. Make frozen pops using juice or Gatorade.
  4. For chickenpox, use some calamine lotion and cotton swabs and play "Connect the Pox."

    For children who are only slightly ill, boredom is a major downer when sick. Above all, children crave TLC and extra attention from mom and/or dad until it's time to return to playtime and learning. Check out these home remedies from moms and dads just like you!

    Updated by Jill Ceder

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