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Sickness has definitely struck my family. We’ve been passing around something for the past week, and it’s leaving us all feeling tired, achy, and pretty miserable.
When we’re sick, my first response is typically to turn on the TV so we can all just snuggle on the couch and do nothing. That’s all I want to do! But, bad moods and excess screen times go hand-in-hand around here, so I’ve been trying to pull out some different activities.
Since I don’t want the kids running around a lot when they’re sick and recovering, I brainstormed some simple, low-key activities that keep them engaged.
1. Bring Out the Cookie Cutters
Confession: I don’t actually make shaped cookies very often. They just take too much time! But, we have a ton of cookie cutters that I can’t bring myself to part with. So I started experimenting with using them as a learning tool. It’s been a lot of fun!
With cookie cutters, you can have your children:
- Sort them into categories
- Trace around them on paper like stencils
- Make up a story, using them as props
- Put them in and out of a container (perfect for young toddlers!)
- Make patterns
- Pretend play cooking
As long as your cookie cutters don’t have sharp edges, they’re safe for the kids to play with.
2. Building Fun
Legos, Mega Bloks, K’Nex, and Lincoln Logs are all favorites around here. My kids will sit and build for quite a while, even when they’re perfectly healthy. But when they’re sick, building keeps their minds engaged, and lets them practice fine motor skills without exerting a lot of energy.
3. Bring Car Games Inside
We love car games! I like that our car games:
- Don’t typically require materials
- Are meant to be played while sitting
- Engage the kids
- Are simple!
We’ve had a lot of fun despite the sickness, sitting on the couch playing some of the games we typically reserve for car trips. Need some inspiration on what to play? Here are some posts that’ll get you started:
- Communication Building Car Games
- ELA Car Games (Just skip the license plate one! :D)
- Science Car Games
4. Math Manipulative Fun
Plenty of math manipulatives are fun to play with. My kids enjoy building beautiful patterns with pattern blocks, seeing how many different ways they can stretch out rubber bands on geoboards, and sorting unifix cubes.
If you have any math manipulatives at home, you can get your child settled at the table with some. I know my kids appreciate being able to do free play with the items that are usually designated for a specific purpose. So they’ll use pattern blocks to build buildings, see how high of a tower they can build, or make a barn for a toy pony.
They’re imagination can really go to town, while they’re still sitting and resting.
5. The Story Bowl
Grab a large mixing bowl, and send your kids on a mission to find small objects to put inside the bowl. I typically have my kids fetch:
- LEGO mini-figures
- Toy vehicles
- Small plastic animals
- A couple of blocks
- Fun bath toys
We dump everything into the bowl and one person closes their eyes, reaches in, and pulls out four or five objects. That person then tells the rest of us a story, using the items they pulled out as inspiration.
After they’re finished with the story, they put their objects back in and another player takes a turn.
6. Simple Board and Card Games
I love board games, and we’ve collected quite a few over the years. Here are some that are perfect for sick kids to play:
- Tell Me a Story
Is Your Family Sick Too?
Tis the season for colds and flus, unfortunately. If you’re struggling with sickness, I hope these ideas help keep your kids engaged.
Feel better soon!