10 Activities for Kids When Mom is Sick


I felt it coming on early in the week. It started with a sore throat, followed by a killer headache, and two days later, a stuffed up head. A full blown cold at the very beginning of summer break. I suppose I can thank my sweet, cuddly two-year-old for sharing her cold with me, despite my best efforts to avoid catching it. When your toddler is sick and constantly wants to nurse and cough/sneeze in your face, there's not a whole lot you can do.

Sometimes mom is out for the count. Here's how to survive...


Normally, when I am sick, I power through it, because it's just part of mom life. There are still kids to be taken care of- fed, clothed, entertained, etc. There's still laundry to do and dishes to wash. Life just has to go on. This time, though, I couldn't get out of bed. I was running on 12-hour Sudafed, which basically put me into a medicated stupor, and I still had to be able to semi-function and care for my little ones. Miraculously, we survived a pretty miserable 48-hours. I know you've been there, and let me just say- every parent who's been through this yucky mess (countless times) deserves a medal, because it just isn't easy, and that's the truth of it.

Here are a few ideas to keep your kids entertained and engaged when you're sick & banished to the couch.


Give in & Put on Netflix

I don't like to rely on Netflix to entertain my kids, but sometimes you've just got to do it. We grabbed tons of pillows and blankets and piled on the couch together to watch movies off and on while I was sick. It's a great way to discover classics the kids may not have seen yet!

Let the Kids Take Care of You

If your kids are like mine, they're really concerned about mommy when she's sick. My kids love to take care of me, giving me checkups throughout the day. We bring out their doctor's toolkit and dress up clothes, so they can look and play the part. After they take care of mom, they like to give their stuffed animals checkups, too.

Balloon Battle

I keep balloon on hand at all times. They're perfect for rainy days or indoor fun during the winter, but also work great when mom is sick. Blow up a couple of balloons and let the kids have fun with them in the house. I find that I usually have enough energy to whack the balloon a few times from the couch, so I can actually play with the kids while resting. We go through lots of balloons and regularly pick up new packs at Dollar Tree.



Sock Match Challenge

We all have them- socks with no mates. In fact, I have a huge bin in my laundry room that has tons of lone socks. When I'm sick, I bring the sock bin into the living room and dump it on the floor, challenging the kids to match socks with their mates. They get a nickel for every match they make.

Sock Bomb Battle

So, this is one of those silly games we play, even when we're not sick. Roll up pairs of socks and give each kiddo their own pile on opposite sides of the room. Set up a battle zone, and let the kids toss the socks at one another, as they try to avoid being hit. Watch for rogue socks- they just might land in your lap.



Make a Pillow Fort

My kids love to make forts in the house and don't really need a reason to do so. When I'm under the weather, we pile lots of pillows and blankets in the middle of the floor and make a big pillow fort. The kids settle in with sippy cups and lots of books for quiet reading time.


Kinetic Sand

So, this one might need to be saved and utilized when you have a little bit more energy because it does require supervision and there will be some clean-up afterward. We have a huge bag of kinetic sand, and bring it out on rainy days or when the kids are bored. It gives them the chance to squish and build and make a huge mess.

Ball Toss

You know those nifty bins and buckets of all shapes and sizes at the Dollar Tree? We certainly have a plethora of those lying around my house from various parties and events. Line them all up in a row, and have the kids stand behind a taped line on the floor, trying to toss balls into each bin. We use the balls from our ball pit, as well as other soft bean bags or balls that we have lying around. If you don't have balls, balled up newspaper works, too!

Speed Build Challenge

This is one of our favorites! Set out two equal piles of blocks, bricks, or whathaveyou. We like to use DUPLO or mega blocks. Set a timer for 60 seconds and see who can build the highest tower in the shortest amount of time. Be prepared to do this one over and over again- it's lots of fun!


Learn a New Language

Kids are much more likely to pick up new languages before the age of 5, so those first few years of their lives are prime time for introducing other languages. We love to use the Little Pim DVDs to help us learn new languages at home. Right now, we're learning Italian, and hope that we'll be able to use what we learn when we take a family trip to Europe one day! Even if you don't have a resource like Little Pim, it's fun to ask Google how to say words in other languages. Give it a try!

These are my best tips for sick day activities. They allow me to rest, while having fun with the kids, and keeping messes to a minimum.

What are some of your best ideas for sick day activities? Be sure to share them in the comments to help out fellow moms!

Stay well!


1 comment

  1. Some interesting ideas here! There is nothing worse sometimes, honestly, than being Mom and being sick at the same time! Ugh!

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