10 Things To Do on Sick Days

I have both kids home sick today.  One is quite cheery, despite being very unwell. The other is quite miserable, despite not being all that sick!  Typical.

Here are 10 things to do with kids on sick days. (Thanks to my facebook readers for some of these suggestions).  A word of caution though – if you make the day too much fun they won’t want to go to school tomorrow!!

  1. Make them rest. If they are sick enough to be home, rest is mandatory. In our house that means being on your bed for an hour after lunch (not in front of the tv…)
  2. Get outside. Fresh air can work wonders. Just make sure you choose a sensible time of day, and dress your child appropriately for the weather.  (40 degree days aren’t ideal, nor is snow!)
  3. Watch a movie.
  4. Box construction.  Kids of all ages enjoy making things with boxes. Pull boxes out of the recyling bin, hunt for some toilet rolls, dig a few shoeboxes out of the cupboard and let them go for it.
  5. Make jelly.
  6. Read stories.  You know that story on the shelf that your child asks for at bedtime, and you look at your watch and say, “Maybe another night. Pick again“…?! Yep, this is the day for those stories.
  7. Tackle a tidying job together.  Sort out that messy plastics draw, or the linen cupboard.
  8. Colour in.  I’m not usually a fan of mindless colouring, but it can be an excellent sick day activity. Lots of free printable pages are available online. Find something that is of interest to your child.
  9. Playdough. Make it from scratch (it only takes a few minutes), and let your child choose the colour. Older kids love adding straws, googly eyes, bamboo skewers, feathers etc to the playdough.
  10. Write a letter, postcard or email to someone. It’s a good way of sneaking some writing into the day ;-)

Of course, if you are also sick, you should only attempt 1, 3 and 8.  And possibly 5.  Of course there’s always option 11. which is call for backup…

Do you have any other suggestions to add? If so please leave a comment and we might try it this afternoon!

13 thoughts on “10 Things To Do on Sick Days

  1. We have a stash of DVDs the kids aren’t usually allowed to watch – if they are too sick to do much else than lie on the couch & watch TV, they are allowed to pick a DVD from the special stash.

  2. I think tv is a great distraction from feeling ill, I would not make my kids lay in their bed bored. If they are sick enough they fall asleep in front of it anyway. Plus the short shows are good for their awake asleep attention span. Jelly all the way as it gets in the much needed fluids but playdough is also good. they always eat it and its the one time fresh salt dough actually helps. the kids cant do a salt gargle but a bit chewed about helps with the throat germs. squeezing fresh juice is an option for kids that like juice mine dont :(

  3. It all depends too on how sick they are.
    I don’t do fun things on sick days apart from DVDs because I don’t want them to get too attached to staying at home.
    But yeah, I do tidying up as well.
    It’s amazing how quickly the 9 year old gets over whatever it is she has.

  4. @Lilian

    That is an excellent point… my kids are rarely very sick. Usually just a stuffy head, high temp, and generally unhappy. They need rest, panadol and a bit of mummy love!! The sicker kids are though, the less they can do :-/

  5. I let me son wear his PJs all day and watch tv. It feels naughty but when you’re sick rest is pretty important. We also do simple activities that don’t wear him out.

  6. We are on day two of sick toddler and have had lots of quiet play – trains and dolls have featured a lot – unfortunately we are largely stuck inside as it is just so hot here at the moment as I completely agree that generally a dose of fresh air and sunshine is the best thing.

  7. the rules in our house when i was young and sick was always dry toast with Vegemite and flat lemonade. We were allowed to lay on the couch & watch tv… But in saying that we basically had to be dying to be allowed to stay home sick…!

  8. I like my kids to rest up as much as possible. Wish my biggest kid (daddy) would do the same ; ) Lots of lying down stuff happens here when kids are sick but if they’re up to it we do quiet activities too. Hope your two get better really soon Cath.

    Hope immy gets better too Christie.

    PS Would love to hear more about your views on colouring in sometime. (Maybe a different blog post) We love to do it here. I’m keen because it encourages neatness, concentration etc. My girlies love to draw draw draw but colouring in is also a favourite too.

  9. Hope your littlies get better quickly.
    A post on activities for kids when mum is sick might be interesting – we did an activity bag at MOPS once for that purpose!

  10. I remember when my children were little I would set them up in bed (Yep! If you’re too sick to go to school you have to stay in bed). I had a breakfast tray which would straddle their legs as they propped on their pillows and I could set everything up on that for them. Actually come to think of it, apart from the sick bit … sounds like heaven! :)
    Donna :) :)

  11. Puzzles are always good too. Looking through photo albums and talking about the stories that go with them is also ideal…

  12. I have noticed that kids love homemade playdough not only because they can choose colors! try to make some kool aid or peanut butter playdough and you will see ;)

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