How To Entertain A Kid Who’s Home Sick

It’s hard to know who’s feeling worse: your sick child or you, because it’s so sad to see them in discomfort (and, let’s admit, it’s no fun when they start the “Mommy-I’m-boooored” whining). Here, parent-proven ways to amuse a child who’s not feeling well.

FOR TODDLERS

If they’re stuck in bed…

Play “Capture the bunny.” Games don’t get much easier than this: Put your hand beneath your child’s blanket or comforter, hop it all around and tell him to try and “capture” the bunny. Bound to induce giggles in even the mopiest child.

And if they’re not stuck in bed…

Have a critter picnic. Spread out a blanket on the floor, gather a bunch of stuffed animals and teddy bears and some play dishes and cups, and have a little picnic. This is also a way to get your little one to down some soup or other food, if she hasn’t been so into eating. And if it just so happens that one of the animals is also ailing, your tot can give him some pretend medicine.

FOR PRESCHOOLERS

If they’re stuck in bed…

Do a shadow-puppet show. Just close the curtains, aim a lamp at a wall and use your fingers to create different animal shapes. Enlist your child’s imagination to  figure out what the shadow is—especially helpful if you have absolutely no clue what you’re doing, and her guess is as good as yours.

And if they’re not stuck in bed…

Make a feel-better story. Ask your child to put together a story about a kid who got sick and then got all better (and then hope she takes the hint). She can color pictures on construction paper, and you can help write captions. Use a hole puncher to make holes on the left sides of the papers, then tie them together with pipe cleaners.

FOR YOUNG SCHOOL-AGE KIDS

If they’re stuck in bed…

Play a bedroom game of I Spy. Give hints like “I spy with my little eye something blue” and have your child try to guess what you are talking about. Then, her turn!

And if they’re not stuck in bed…

Put together a cool craft box. Cover a shoe box with glued-on construction paper. Then let your child decorate it with crayons, markers, glitter, stickers, pom-pons or whatever you have on hand. She can use the box to store craft supplies or special treasures.

Image of child and teddy bear picnic via Shutterstock 

This post is sponsored by Little Remedies, makers of children’s medication without artificial colors, artificial flavors or alcohol.

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