When your child is sick, you have to play both nursemaid and entertainer. Sick children are cranky and tired. They want company, they want comfort, and they want your constant attention. Most children spend the entire day watching TV or playing on their cell phones because it is the easiest way to keep children occupied.
However, long hours on the TV can leave our children tired from the constant sound and eye-strain.
What else can you do to keep your child occupied?
- Create a timetable for the day. Divide the day into sections of time. Your child can spend their mornings with a half-hour TV session, drawing, colouring and sticker work. They can spend their afternoon with lunch and rest time. Some children cannot take a nap, so ask them to lie down and rest in a darkened room. Lie down with them. Even a ten-minute lie down will give you time to rest and re-energise. In this manner, make a plan for the whole day.
- Pull out art supplies. Give your child a wide variety of artwork options. Let your child sit at a table with all supplies laid out. Give them the freedom to create anything they’d like with the things on the table. It can be as simple as a box of crayons and a colouring book. Or if you want, give your child colourful buttons, glitter glue, feathers and a variety of textured items to make a colourful collage.
- Puzzles. At five, most kids do not mind doing the same puzzle over and over again. Jigsaw puzzles have the added benefit of giving your child an opportunity to practice organizational, visual perception, and fine motor skills. Keep a couple of boxes of puzzles at home for these sick days.
- Board Games. Carve out time sprawl out with your child and play his/her favourite board games. If your child is getting restless, put it away and try another game.
- Teach your child something new. If your child is active enough, it might be a chance to teach your child a new game like chess or checkers, or a new concept like photosynthesis, a new shloka or hymn or prayer, etc.
- Blocks, cars and dolls. Pull out your child’s long forgotten toys and let your child rediscover the fun they can have with building blocks, cars they have forgotten or dolls who were left behind in favour of newer toys.
- Books. Jump into bed with your little one, cuddle close, and read them their favourite kinds of stories. Let them choose the books and be ready to read the same ones over and over again.
Often, when a child is sick, apart from medicines, laughter and lots of love will help get them better sooner. Keep your child busy with short little activities to keep their mind off their discomfort. You will find that they are happier and you are a little less stressed out.