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Sick Day Activities for Kids

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Updated September 29, 2011

Sick Day Activities for Kids

Nauseated Child

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When children are sick, they may not feel like staying in bed and sleeping all day like most adults do. In fact, how a child is behaving is often a good indicator of how serious their illness is. If your child is sick and won't smile or play at all, it is a good idea to contact her healthcare provider to determine if she needs to be seen.

For many childhood illnesses, kids won't necessarily have to go to the doctor, but they may need to stay home from school or daycare for a few days. If you are at home with your child when she is sick, you will probably need some entertainment options at some point.

While TV and movies are great sick day activities, they can get boring for both you and your child after a while. So, we have compiled a list of sick day activity ideas for your kids.

Have some ideas of your own that aren't on this list? Share them at the end of this article!

  • Play Board Games
    We all have board games lying around the house that may not get much use anymore. These can be great to pull out when your child is sick. They can be played while everyone is sitting down - providing entertainment without using a ton of energy.

  • Read Books
    I like to keep a stash of books put away that we pull out and read on sick days. You can even pick up cheap books on the clearance racks at your favorite big box store or at the dollar store. Pull out these books when your child is sick and it will feel like a special treat. And you won't be stuck reading the same old books you always read.

  • Make Your Own Book
    Create your own story with your child. With just a handful of construction or computer paper and your imaginations, you and your child can write your own story. This can be adapted for children of any age and ability. Have your child draw the pictures and tell you the story, or if they are older, have them write the story as well. If you want to get even more creative, there are resources online where you can create your book and have it published. You could even use a photo site (such as Shutterfly or Snapfish) to create your own story by making a photo book. Add your own pictures and have your child help you write the story.

  • Do Arts and Crafts
    Get out crayons, markers, construction paper, pipe cleaners, ribbons, stickers and any other craft supplies you may have on hand. Have your child use her imagination to create whatever she wants. Have her tell you what she created and make up a story about it. For more interaction, make your own creation and tell her a story about your creation as well.

  • Have a Puppet Show
    You don't need a full scale puppet theater to put on a puppet show. Hide behind the back of the couch or drape a sheet over one side of a table to make a stage. Draw faces on some old socks for puppets or use stuffed animals and make up a story. If you have trouble thinking of a story, find a book with a simple story and use the puppets to act it out. If she is feeling up to it, get your child involved. Have her put on a puppet show for you or work together and use her stuffed animals for the audience.

  • Bake Cookies
    Depending on how sick she is feeling, you can work together to make cookies (or put the pre-made cookie dough in the oven). Get out icing and sprinkles and let her decorate the cookies once they have cooled. When she is feeling bad, a sweet treat may just make her feel a little better. Note: This is not a good option if she is vomiting or has severe diarrhea. In this case, you can try cutting bread and bananas into cute shapes if she is able to tolerate a BRAT diet.


  • Make Up Your Own Game
    If she likes to play board games, have her make up her own. Depending on how much work you want to do, you can create your own board and pieces or use parts of several games that you already have. Discuss the rules and write them down and then try playing it together. If the rules are a little too hard to follow, offer suggestions on how you can make it work.

There probably won't be time to do all of these activities in one day, but it should help get you started and might make those sick days a little less gloomy.

  1. About.com
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  4. When Your Child is Sick
  5. Sick Day Activities for Kids

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