Even when my little guy is sick, and should be resting, he doesn’t slow down. He wants to play, he wants to read, he wants to draw, he wants to experiment.
Recently he was home for a week sick. The poor guy had a virus that was impacting his asthma, and on top of that, he developed an ear infection. Through all of it he stayed positive, played constantly, and never once took a nap. Even though he was up for it, I didn’t want to bring him out and about for a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t want to infect anyone else, and second, you’re supposed to rest when you’re sick. Why won’t this kid rest?
At any rate, I ended up coming up with several things to do that week to keep him busy, and I thought I’d share in case you find yourself stuck at home with an energetic, but sick little one and would like a few ideas.
It feels like this is self explanatory, but really, with so many hours to fill I needed to make it a little more challenging, so I gave him “challenges”. They included “draw your best coral reef”, “draw a picture about the story we just read”, and if you were designing a Lego toy what would it look like”? He ate these up, and it passed a lot of time. I had a pad of very large paper, and all sorts of different drawing tools (crayons, markers (thin and thick), colored pencils, and water colors. He went to town. Usually for at least thirty minutes at a time.
I’m sure most parents do this because it’s an easy way to keep your kids occupied, and make the time productive as well. I made it a little more interesting by having him pick stories that we had not read before. I can’t pass up a book – ever, so we have lots to choose from. We talked about what was happening in the story, and what characters he liked the best. You know what he wanted to do after each story? Draw about it. Double win.
What will float, mommy? What weighs more, mommy? Which Lego car will go faster, mommy? I let him find out the answers to all of these questions. Why not? We’re stuck in the house and he’s curious. We may as well find out. I filled the sink with warm water and let him see which animals would float or sink, we built a Lego scale and he weighed different (very small) items. And we built a lot of Lego cars to see which would go fastest. A LOT of Lego cars. A LOT of Lego parades, A LOT of Lego everything. If there is a Lego experiment out there – we tried it last week. We also took out Christmas gifts that hadn’t been played with yet. Our dear friends gave Nicholas a Smithsonian set which he could use to dig for a dinosaur skull. He loved it!
My point is this: If your child is sick, and unable to go to school for awhile, or even just home on vacation, just use what you have, get in there with them, and enjoy the time. Perhaps they won’t remember how sick they felt, or that they didn’t go anywhere exciting, but they will remember the fun they had getting to spend some unexpected, uninterrupted extra time with mommy or daddy.
Please – share some of the awesome ideas you have for when kids are stuck inside!
xoxo – Jeannine