Indoor Activities For Kids Who Are Sick

It’s unavoidable really – at some point in a child’s life they are going to be stuck at home unwell. But how do you occupy a curious, playful child when they want to be up and about doing things, when you know they need to be resting?

The best tip is to try to stick to one activity at a time, otherwise you might overwhelm the poor poppet and make them feel worse. Another idea, if the child is well enough, is to make a cubby or nest on the lounge or with some beanbags; somewhere comfy and warm, but a change of scenery from their bed. This helps to separate your child’s sleeping space from their recuperating space.

We’ve come up with some more engaging indoor activities for kids who are sick, that won’t require resorting to the TV or iPad.

Writing And Drawing Ideas for Sick Kids

Coloured Pencils

All of the following ideas involve writing and drawing of some description, and some are easily adapted for older or younger children.

  1. Colouring in – introduce a new colouring in book with some pencils or crayons, facilitate drawing with some blank paper perhaps inspire a masterpiece with a favourite theme. Also try dot-to-dot books, mazes or “paper golf” – best played with two or more players. Start at one end of the page, hold the pencil to the paper with one finger (put your finger on the end so the point is on the paper), then angle your hand and push down so a line is made. Take it in turns to see who can make the longest line and who can continue their line to the end of the “course” (page) without ending up in the rough (off the page).
  2. Leaf or coin (or other object) rubbings – made by putting the article under a piece of paper and rubbing the side of a crayon or an angled pencil over the covered object.
  3. Drawing or collaging on recycling (boxes) to make a city or other sculpture.
  4. Stained glass drawings on baking paper or other translucent paper, perhaps tissue paper for older kids. Draw different shapes or pictures with a black outline, just like the lead lighting in real stained glass windows. Stick onto the window with sticky tape when the creation is completed.

Manipulative Indoor Activities For Children Stuck Inside

Origami Crane

If your child doesn’t like, or is too young for a lot of drawing based activities, here are some indoor activities for sick kids that keep their hands active but their bodies resting!

  1. Cut out pictures from magazines or junk mail and arrange them to tell a story. You could add magnets to the back and stick them in a big roasting tray. Pictures could be collated on a theme, or a letter, or a colour too.
  2. Sticker collages are easy and quick to do, with very little mess or clean up required. Stickers can be used to tell a story, or added to a page in a magazine or even a hand drawn picture. Why not decorate their tissue box too!
  3. Sculptures made from pipe cleaners, pom poms and beads will keep little fingers occupied.
  4. Paper aeroplanes and Origami are great for older kids, you can find heaps of different patterns with instructions online.
  5. Play dough is a good activity if your child can leave their bed or nest for a short time, otherwise things might get a bit messy.
  6. Puzzles or other short board games – set up on oven biscuit trays if you don’t have a specific “breakfast in bed” type table.
  7. Lego is great for keeping fingers busy.
  8. Puppets can help tell a story, or help your child create their own.
  9. Creating a garden with cuttings from outside, placed in a large container with a layer of rice or beans on the bottom for sticking the stems into. Add to the fun by including dolls, cars, diggers, dinosaurs, fairies, farm animals …

Food Ideas for Unwell Kids

Boiled Egg in Cup

Food is best kept simple and bland so that little bodies still get the nutrients they need to get well, and little tummies are kept happy and not upset.

  1. Boiled eggs with soldiers are a great healthy idea – they’re packed with the energy needed to regain strength and get back to normal.
  2. Mashed avocado spread on a plate, and vegetable sticks or pieces arranged to make a face, like a carrot beard, some celery hair, and cherry tomato eyes.
  3. Cutting sandwiches into shapes with a sandwich cutter or biscuit cutters can also inspire a few mouthfuls to be taken.
  4. Serve drinks with a straw – the kids think they are getting a treat, encouraging them to keep their fluids up, and it helps to avoid mess and spills.

Still Need More Fun Ideas?

  1. Hold a teddy bear’s picnic or a tea party in bed – or they could even play hospitals with their toys.
  2. Look at photo albums such as your wedding album or your own childhood photos together, or dig out your child’s baby photos and tell the story behind each photograph.

If your Brisbane Kid is stuck at home while they recover from an illness, but seem to be going a little stir crazy with pent up energy, take a look at our 5 Rainy Day Ideas for Kids article for some other ideas to explore at home.

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