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How To Cheer Up A Sick Kiddo

Written by Mindy White

Photography by Photo via Mommy Illuminati

When the kids are under the weather and stuck at home (or in bed) for the day, boredom can set in quickly. It can be tough to keep them in good spirits while still making sure they rest. The most important thing to remember is that a little TLC goes a long way. There are many creative ways to entertain your kiddos with little effort and mess. Not sure where to start? Luckily, we’ve gathered a bunch of fun and easy ideas below to help keep them smiling while they get better.

If you child is stuck in bed:

-Make your little one’s room completely dark, get out a bright lamp or flashlight, and play puppets on the wall. Make different shapes with your hands to form a dog, bunny, cat, and more. Make up fun stories starring the shadow critters and take turns telling each other what happens next!

-Grab drawing paper, crayons or washable markers, and a bed table or hard surface like an oversized book, and set up a drawing party on your kid’s bed. Prolong the fun by playing drawing games or let your kiddo illustrate a story with doodles. This keeps them satisfied for a good amount of time. You can also add in stickers or coloring books if you have them on hand.

-Play a game of “I Spy” by giving hints of an object that you’re looking at in the room, and have your kid guess what it is. When he or she does, it’s their turn! This also works outdoors if your kiddo needs some fresh air on the front porch.

-Bust out the photo album and have a fun look at family members through the years. You child will have so much fun laughing at silly photos and pointing out “Grandma” and “Daddy!”

-Of course, colds and sore throats need warm soup. Serve your kiddo their favorite liquid soup with a straw to make eating more fun. Plus, it makes lunchtime last longer. If they’re not hungry, try some warm tea, broth, or hot cocoa!

-Set up a movie or favorite TV show marathon for your child to watch while they rest. Provide healthy snacks and electrolyte-filled drinks so there are no interruptions. This way, they’re occupied and not moving around much and can heal quick.

-Grab every stuffed animal in the house and let your child pretend play by setting up a stuffed animal hospital. Let him or her check each animal’s temperatures, and treat each cough, headache, and cold.

-Set up a Skype video chat in bed to Grandma or another family member or far away friend. It’s much more fun than talking on the phone, and really cheers up a sick kiddo. Plus, it gives you a few minutes to yourself after a day of entertaining.

-When books and games aren’t what your sick kid wants, opt for a warm bath. It’s calming and the steam is good for congestion. Add some bath toys,  bubbles, and music for a fun experience.

-Set up different rest stations around the house. You kid is likely to get bored and fussy fast when feeling ill. Make pallets or lie cushions down in different rooms, each providing a new activity. When he or she gets bored with one, he can move on to the next one.

Home sick, but not stuck in bed:

-Make a big fort in the living room with pillows, chairs, and sofa cushions. Provide a special blanket bed in the middle for your little one to lay on while they read books, play a game, color, or watch TV. Add a string of lights for a nice magical touch, and provide fun fort-like snacks and drinks.

-Have an animal picnic by collecting your kid’s favorite stuffed animals in the house and serving lunch. Lay out a blanket, fill up a basket with healthy foods and drinks, get out kid-safe dishes and utensils, and assign each “guest” a proper seating on the blanket. Let your little one serve each guest and enjoy the fun!

-Set up a craft station on your kitchen or dining room table, filled with endless possibilities for your child to create. Some fun creations might be letting him or her make a sign for their bedroom door, decorate a shoe box to put materials or “top secret” stuff in, or make a cool picture for Daddy.

-Grab some fresh air by heading outside on a neighborhood walk. Make it extra fun by making a checklist of all the things you might see on your journey, like mailboxes, benches, flowers, and neighborhood dogs. Your kid will love pointing out and checking each box along the way.

-Send your child on a fun scavenger hunt by hiding items around the house. Beforehand, show him all the things you will be hiding, and make him count (or wait) until they’re good and hidden. Give him a light basket to gather items in, and set him off! Little kids will want to play this game over and over!

-Let your kid dress up in their favorite costume and put on a show for you in the living room. Include music, lights (flashlights also work), and a make-shift stage. You can be the judge of the performance and also provide commentary.

-Set up a face painting station at the kitchen table with eco-friendly face paint. Paint on paper until you’ve both decided your preferred design. Let your little one give you one, too!

-If your kid is suffering from a bad cough, hot steam from a shower can help aid her congestion. Try running the shower, and closing the bathroom door so the steam doesn’t escape, draw pictures in the steamy mirror or let her color on the mirrors with washable crayons. This will keep her stay busy for a good amount of time, while treating her sore throat and lungs.

-Get active and use unusual games to keep your little one busy. Play a few rounds of “toss the sock” using rolled up socks and a laundry hamper. Let him see how many times he can make it into the basket. Another fun one is playing “Freeze,” where your kid dances until the music stops. They must hold whatever position they paused in until the music starts back. Lastly, “Indoor Bowling” is great using leftover water bottles and a bouncy ball. Your child will have so much fun that they’ll forget how yucky they feel.

-Have your child write a relative a letter. It can be a fun story or a heartfelt “I miss you.” If your kid is too little to write for themselves, you can ask them exactly what they want to say, and write for them or have them draw a picture to send in the mail.

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