Who are we kidding? Every parent knows that “Back to School” really means “back to germs.” Right? All those adorable, sniffling little humans in one place, the weather starting to get chilly, and no matter how many times we teach the “vampire sneeze” (you know, when you cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of into your hands, or, worse, into the laughing open mouth of your sweet little classmate), they are just kids after all. And classrooms might as well be renamed “petri dishes.”
Any hint of a cough, sneeze or sniffle is grounds for full DEFCON 1: consistent hydration, rest, rest, rest, religious hand washing and Cold-EEZE when they have signs of a cold*! Alas, it may be inevitable. There is a chance that your little munchkins may be unlucky enough to fall prey to a cold or flu virus this year, and have to take the dreaded “sick day” (*creepy music plays*).
But it doesn’t have to be that bad. Honestly! And we can help you stay ahead of this one by helping you create a Sick Day Fun Kit! It’s exactly what it sounds like. A kit overflowing with fun, simple, quiet activities for your kids to do when they are stuck at home and feeling crummy. You can prepare it beforehand and have it stashed somewhere, out of sight, so that when you do have to break it out, the novelty, variety and oodles of low-key fun will melt the yuckiness away and make the dreaded day that much more pleasant for everyone involved. Kids are entertained and feel better, parents don’t have to rack their brains at the last minute for ideas. And when sick kids are happy, parents are happy.
So grab a storage box or tote bag and start stuffing it with some of these 28 games and activities we think would be perfect for your sick day fun kit.
27 Ideas for Sick Day Activities for Kids
Our first few ideas will work for kids of all ages, (including kids at heart!).
- Books that talk about being sick, like “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” “Germs Make me Sick!,” and “Sick Simon” for toddlers, “You Wouldn’t Want to be Sick in the 16th Century” and “ Frisby and the Rats of NIMH” for older kids
- Pipe cleaners, blocks, Tinker Toys, LEGOs and other building materials
- Activity and puzzle books
- Temporary tattoos
- Egg carton Mancala, math fun for all ages! (No, seriously!)
- Board games. Chutes & Ladders and Operation for toddlers, or Scrabble, Pictionary, or Trivial Pursuit for older kids. Get the travel versions so they’re easier to store and move around as needed.
- A coupon book that includes coupons for things like a movie marathon, some audiobooks, music, a video chat with a faraway friend or relative, hugs and kisses, or special foods and treats
- A fort building kit like this one, or this one, because, honestly, who doesn’t love forts? String some Christmas lights inside to kick it up another notch!
Sick Day Activities for Toddlers
If you know a toddler, you know it can be difficult to explain certain things, like exactly why they need to rest, or eat chicken soup when they really don’t want to, as is keeping their attention on anything for any extended period of time. So making sure you are prepared with a good variety of toddler activities will be key, for both of you!
- Some new toys from the dollar store
- Reusable sticker books & DIY quiet books
- Large beads and thread for necklaces
- Pattern and tangram blocks
- Magnetic letters, words or dress up dolls on a baking tray
- Materials and instructions for making cootie catchers (get it??)
- Silly putty, slime, or Play Doh
- Instructions for a scavenger hunt (if they feel up for it). For example, hide all of their animal toys around the house (or the bedroom) and send them off on a “safari” with a bucket to locate and collect them. You can do this with any number of themes, like collecting everything of a certain color, or collecting books to read later.
- Materials to decorate their tissue box, and/or toilet paper rolls to make binoculars for the scavenger hunt!
- New markers, crayons and paper, or window markers for something different
- A baby photo album – kids always love reminiscing about their “youth!”
- A DIY busy bag
Sick Day Activities for Older Kids
It may be easier for older kids to understand the need to not overexert themselves and to commit to an actual “sick day”, but no one wants to be bored when stuck at home, so keeping some options handy for older kid activities will do wonders! In addition to the games and activities above, here are a few more for older kids.
- Magazines like Highlights or National Geographic Kids
- Materials for origami or paper airplanes
- Threads and instructions for friendship bracelets
- A Rubik’s cube
- Cards and card games like UNO
- Enlist their help in putting together a photo album or scrapbook
Not to brag, but this kit looks pretty amazing. We probably wouldn’t mind playing with a few of these ourselves. I mean, when is the last time you sat in a fort and made a friendship bracelet? An ultimate Sick Day Fun Kit like this will almost certainly help your kids get well faster, and keep you sane.
What would you add to your kit? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Did you make one? Show us your kits! #ColdEEZE
Have a happy and healthy start to the school year!
*With the exception of our Children’s Symptom Relief products, Cold-EEZE products are for kids and adults 12+ up!