-19 Ideas for Activities for Kids with Colds, Flu, or COVID-19 While on a Sick Day
Sick day activity ideas for kids with colds, flu or COVID
When kids are sick, it’s easy to fall into the stretch of too much screen time or non-stop snoozing. We all know that rest is crucial for recovery, but in many cases of illness like colds, flu or mild COVID-19 symptoms, your child may not be sick enough to sleep the day away. In these cases, boredom can quickly set in if they don’t have activities to keep them entertained.
The key is to find low-energy yet engaging activities that comfort and distract kids without causing overexertion. Finding options that are both fun and nurturing to your child’s health creates a true win-win scenario. Keep in mind, the priority should always be getting better – so moderation is the golden rule here. Choose a few activities from the list below to help fight off the boredom without risking the wellbeing of your child.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore 10 different activities that will not only keep your child occupied but also allow them to feel comfortable while they recover.
Soothing Reading Time
Reading or listening to audiobooks is a calming and incredibly nourishing activity for a sick child. Engage their minds with thought-provoking content and expand their knowledge while they’re at it. Tailor your selection to include light-hearted, fun or inspirational stories according to your child’s preferences.
For instance, you could read to your child or allow them to read independently if they feel up to it. If reading feels too strenuous, audiobooks are a great alternative.
- ‘Harry Potter’ series by J.K. Rowling
- ‘Dr. Seuss’ collection for younger children
- ‘Percy Jackson’ series by Rick Riordan for older kids
- ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ by Roald Dahl
- ‘The Gruffalo’ by Julia Donaldson for little ones
- ‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio for teenagers
Calm Crafting Zones
Crafting can be incredibly relaxing, plus it gives your child something tangible to feel proud about afterward. Be sure to choose craft projects that are light on effort and don’t require any heavy lifting or energy-draining tasks. Simpler crafts such as coloring books, clay modeling, or making bracelets are ideal.
Let’s say you decide to create a crafting zone with essential supplies in a comfortable area where your child is resting.
- Colouring books and pencils/crayons
- Clay or playdough for molding figures
- Beads and strings for making bracelets
- Paper, scissors, glue, and glitter for open-ended crafts
- Sketchpads for drawing
- Foam shapes and sticks for simple sculptures
Relaxing Movie Time
As long as screen time is not all they’re doing, watching a movie or their favorite cartoons can be a great way for kids to relax when they’re not feeling well. Watching a movie is effortless entertainment, which delivers both comfort and joy to your sick kiddo.
For instance, set up a cozy movie corner for them with their favorite blanket, pillows, some plush toys, and plenty of materials to keep them hydrated.
- ‘Finding Nemo’ for animal lovers
- ‘Frozen’ for music enthusiasts
- ‘SpongeBob Square Pants’ series for a good laugh
- ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ for superhero fans
- ‘Toy Story’ series for a heartfelt story
- ‘Moana’ for a touch of adventure
Puzzles are a fantastic way to keep your child’s brain active when they’re unwell. Not only do puzzles cultivate patience but they also improve cognitive function and problem-solving skills. Opt for exciting 3D puzzles, word searches, Sudoku or simple jigsaws for younger kids.
For example, set up a cozy corner for your sick kid with all their favorite puzzles.
- Themed jigsaw puzzles with their favorite characters
- Word search books especially made for kids
- Sudoku books categorized by difficulty level
- Rubik’s cube for older kids
- Shape matching puzzles for toddlers
- Memory card games
Joyful Journaling Time
Journaling can be therapeutic for children, allowing them to express their feelings and thoughts. When a child is feeling unwell, encouraging them to write in a journal can also allow you to gain insights into how they’re coping and if there are any unresolved issues that might need addressing.
You could help set up a quiet space with a comfy chair and provide a special journal and fun pens for your child to write in.
- Gratitude journals to document things they’re grateful for each day
- Doodle diaries with prompts for drawing
- Plain notebooks for free-writing
- Fancy pens to make writing more fun
- Stickers to decorate pages
- A lockable diary for privacy, if preferred.
Board Game Bonanza
Board games are a fantastic way to spend time together and can be quite enjoyable even when your child is unwell. Simple games with less intense rules tend to work better as they don’t require much energy or concentration.
Think about setting up a board game marathon with the family, playing simple games that your sick child enjoys.
- ‘Candy Land’ for younger kids
- ‘Scrabble’ for word lovers
- ‘The Game of Life’ for a fun simulation of life events
- ‘Monopoly Junior’ to teach them about money management
- ‘Sorry!’ for simple strategy
- ‘Connect 4’ for easy competitive play
Comforting Storytelling Sessions
Storytelling is a soothing activity that doesn’t involve any physical effort. You might tell stories from your childhood or read tales from a child’s storybook. Even listening to podcasts designed for kids could be a good variation.
Imagine creating an ambient storytelling environment with soft lights, comfy pillows, and a selection of your child’s favorite storybooks, or tuning in to a children’s podcast series.
- Tales of Panchatantra
- Grimm’s fairy tales
- Hans Christian Andersen Stories
- ‘Harry Potter: A History of Magic’
- ‘Wow in the World’- a science podcast
- ‘Story Pirates’ – original stories by kids
Calming Listen & Draw Moments
Turning on relaxing music while your kids express themselves artistically can soothe their minds and inspire creativity. Make sure the activity stays light – there should be no pressure to create something perfect.
You could set up a ‘listen and draw’ session where you play your child’s favorite mellow music and provide them with a sketchpad.
- Classical melodies by Mozart or Beethoven
- Soundtracks from their favorite movies or series
- Nature sounds, like rain or ocean waves
- Meditation music for children
- Lullabies or nursery rhymes for younger kids
- Instrumental versions of popular songs
Mesmerizing Window Watching
Observing the world outside is a peaceful activity that can be done while lying down. It poses an opportunity to notice nature, weather patterns, animals, and people in a way we often overlook during our busy routines.
You could provide your child with a comfy spot by the window where they could enjoy watching the world go by.
- Birdwatching: identifying different types of birds
- Cloud gazing: identifying different kinds of clouds or making out shapes
- Star gazing: spotting constellations at night
- People watching: creating stories about passersby
- Sketching what they see outside the window
- Spotting signs of different seasons – falling leaves, blooming flowers etc.
Comforting Meditation and Deep Breathing
Teaching kids basic meditation and deep breathing techniques doesn’t just help them relax when they’re ill; it’s also a valuable tool that they can use throughout their lives. For sick days, choose simple, guided meditations designed specifically for children.
Consider incorporating a relaxation routine into your child’s day through app-based children friendly meditation programs.
- ‘Headspace for Kids’ for guided mindful exercises
- ‘DreamyKid’ with its sleep time meditations
- ‘Smiling Mind’ gives lessons by age groups
- ‘Calm’ offers sleep stories for kids
- ‘Stop, Breathe & Think Kids’ gives meditation options according to how a child feels
- ‘Cosmic Kids Yoga’ combines storytelling with yoga
Summary Table of Sick Day Activities and Ideas
|Soothing Reading Time
|Harry Potter Series, Dr. Seuss Collection, Percy Jackson Series
|Calm Crafting Zones
|Coloring books, Clay models, Bead bracelets
|Relaxing Movie Time
|Finding Nemo, Frozen, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
|Jigsaw puzzles, Word searches, Sudoku
|Joyful Journaling Time
|Gratitude journals, Doodle diaries, Free-writing in notebooks
|Board Game Bonanza
|Candy Land, Scrabble, The Game of Life
|Comforting Storytelling Sessions
|Tales of Panchatantra, Grimm’s fairy tales, Children’s podcasts
|Calming Listen & Draw Moments
|Classical melodies, Movie soundtracks, Nature sounds
|Mesmerizing Window Watching
|Birdwatching, Cloud gazing, Star gazing
|Comforting Meditation and Deep Breathing
|Headspace for Kids, DreamyKid, Smiling Mind
Remember, your child being ill is a tough time, but it’s temporary. Provide comfort, care, hydration, and love while they’re under the weather. These simple activities can be a great distraction from symptoms and provide an opportunity for you to connect with your child in a more significant way during their illness.