How to Entertain the Kids When You’re Sick

Being sick when you’re a mum is no fun. If you’re able to have another parent or friend help with the kids or if miraculously, their day care falls on your sick day, make the most of it and rest. Forget about the things that need to be done.

But if you don’t have family around and if daycare isn’t an option, it can be a really difficult day for all involved.

After recently being sick and not having a lot of energy to do things with my girls, I had to come up with some quiet play activities that would keep them entertained so I could lay on the couch. I thought I’d share with you my go-to activities when I’m not feeling so great.

activities when you can't mum

1. TV and Snacks

Set up a movie day by placing a picnic rug on the floor and making popcorn. I let the girls decide what they like to watch. I also place some toys for my youngest to play with as she tends to swap from watching TV to playing with her toys. On this particular day, I couldn’t even muster to make popcorn so I gave my girls packet snacks and they decided to rug up on the couch together.

watch a movie with snacks

2. Paper and Stickers.

Kids love stickers – especially the bubbled up type that can be easily peeled with little fingers. Set up a scrapbook and get the kids to sticker the outside cover until it’s all covered or they can simply cover a piece of paper.

3. Simple Craft

Leafy Lion Craft – If you have an enclosed backyard, get the kids to go on a scavenger hunt for leaves for their Leafy Lion Craft project. You can lie on the couch, while the kids find the leaves and stick them around the plate. The secret about doing craft when you’re not feeling well is to make sure it’s super simple. All you need here is a paper plate, glue and leaves.

leafy lion face craft

4. Playdough

Kids love to get creative with playdough. For another fun activity, get the kids to do another scavenger hunt in the backyard for rocks, sticks, leaves, flowers and anything else they find which can be stuck into a mound of playdough to look like an island. See example here (with a play dough recipe included).


5. Scavenger Hunt

Have a scavenger hunt. If your kids can’t read, ask them to find items that make the colour of the rainbow. Have lists ready to hand them, so you don’t have to think of things on the spot that they need to find.

6. Contained Play

If you have really young children, set up a portacot and place it in the living room where you can lay on the couch. Put toys in the portacot so your kids can see you, but can’t run around the house.

7. Tea Party

Get the tea party set out and the stuffed toys. My girls will sit happily and entertain themselves while hosting a tea party for their toys.

tea set

8. Lego/Duplo

Get out the Lego. The Duplo is usually my go-to-toy that I bring out for kids to play with. It’s always a winner with kids.

lego building

What do you get your kids to do when you’re not feeling well? Found any successful activities that can keep little kids entertained for hours?


Ways to Keep a Toddler Occupied

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  • Reply
    June 27, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Oh I absolutely LOVE this! You have some awesome and practical ideas which I will definitely be using next time I’m sick (my that be a far, far away day).
    I am pretty strict with screen time so when I’m sick the boys can play games on the ipad and watch TV until they get square eyes, I also have some activity books that have dot to dot, colouring in etc and the boys love to crack them out.
    My biggest advice for when you are a Mum & sick & can’t even get out of bed is to ask for help! From friends, family- who ever- ask for a meal or a few hours of child minding, what ever you need- just ask!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    What do you do when both Mum and Dad have the flu, and all four kids aged 2,2,4 & 6??!!!??

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