It happened, exactly what you had been dreading since the start of cold season, your child has caught a cold. Sniffles, aches, sneezes and a grumpy mood to boot. What can you do to distract them from how they feel?
Personally I think the mood is almost worse then the symptoms. Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for them, really bad, its definitly no fun to have a cold, but the whining that can ensue is almost too much for me. So I have devised a few ways to keep my kids occupied, and in a little better mood, which in turn helps keep my sanity. I will admit, some things I have tried worked, while others went down in flames. Let’s just say letting your child paint your kitchen cabinets is a novelty at first, but a year later when you are staring at half a tree because the paint has peeled off, not so much. Here are a few tips I have picked up along the way that seem to actually work.
Have sick toys
I always keep a box of special sick toys. These are toys my children only get to play with when they were sick. This way the toys seem new each time they get sick, and so they were excited to play with them. I liken it to changing out my closet for each season. I don’t get to buy a whole new wardrobe, but seeing something I haven’t worn in a few months makes it feel new.
Build a fort or secret hang out
This is a great one because you can start by having your child create a story with you about their fort. Where is it located, why do they need a fort or secret hangout, what is the secret password to get in. Turn it into a whole day event, have your child draw a map to get to the fort, or if you have kids who don’t like to draw like I do, have them write out secret directions. Then using the couch, chairs or blocks you can build a simple or more elaborate fort, pad the inside of the fort with blankets and pillows and you are good to go. Usually by the time we are finished planning out and building my kids are tired and ready to lie down and rest in their fort. Which gives me a a little bit of quiet time to regroup.
Puzzles & Quiet Board Games
Puzzles are a great sick activity, especially larger jigsaw puzzles because you can easily start and stop them. I have a flat large board that we start the puzzle on so that as my kids got tired we could just pick it up and move it, and then resume when they were ready. Board games are also a great activity for when kids aren’t feeling well. A game like monopoly will help teach kids addition and subtraction and they won’t even realize they are learning. Plus, board games give me a great excuse to regale my kids with stories of when I was little, oh yes, I’ve become that parent.
I let my kids watch a special movie when they are really sick. Not all day, but in the early evening when I want them to be resting they get to pick one movie. Its a good time for them to be really quiet and start to wind down as well as letting me have a little time. It can really wreck havoc on your schedule, (and psyche) when you have a sick child at home, letting them curl up to watch a movie gives me time to accomplish some of the things I couldn’t get to during the day.
Despite the whining and the sneezing it can actually be nice to have a quiet day or two at home with your kids, that is until they start feeling better and bouncing off the walls.