How to keep a sick child entertained

Hamish caught a cold over the weekend and with a slight fever, I decided to keep him in bed today. Now, if you’ve ever tried to keep a 5-year-old in bed all day you will know just how hard a task I took on. We settled down in my room with some snacks, flu meds, and a lot of liquids.

To begin with, he was happy to watch his tablet and indulge in far too many episodes of Power Rangers on YouTube kids but all too soon he got really restless. It was time to get creative in order to see that he rested. Here is how I kept him busy.


Ways to keep your child busy when sick


  1. Read together

This is always my go to and we grabbed his new books from Little Book nook and the Wimpy.


  1. Colour in or draw

After reading together I brought through his lap desk and I read him the jokes from the crazy book of laughs from the crazy store while he completed the fun activities. We also coloured in his colouring in book. Butterfly products sell a wonderful range of kids colouring in books if you are looking. These are also very reasonably priced.


  1. Playdoh

It wouldn’t be a day in bed without playdoh and he sat for a while cutting shapes and creating characters.


  1. Magnetic toys

We have a few magnetic toys but his favourite is currently a magnetic skeleton model by Melissa and Doug which kept him busy as we discussed the different organs and parts of our bodies.


  1. Podcasts

Kids podcasts and online stories are also a good way to keep a child entertained. We haven’t yet started listening to podcasts with Hamish but I have a wonderful selection of read with me cd’s that he loves to listen to.


  1. Photo albums

We took a stroll down memory lane and I pulled out his baby book, book of baby scans and other albums I have of pictures. I love looking at old photos and Hamish thoroughly enjoyed seeing himself as a baby.


  1. Forts

To keep Hamish lying down and in bed I allowed him to set up his Bush baby tent in my room and this gave him a great space to lie and watch his movies whilst not feeling like he was in bed.


    8. Play hospital

Misery loves company and so we doctored his favourite Build a bear teddy to be sick with him. Teddy had to take medicine and nap just like Hamish.


  1. Yoghurt pops

To soothe sore throats making homemade water lollys from fruit juice or yoghurt pops will encourage your child to eat more and ease the pain.


  1. Board games

Board games always keep us busy and as a family we could keep busy for hours playing new games.


Some of our favourite games are :




Snakes and ladders




Card games


  1. Eye spy

Playing eye spy is a lovely way to keep Hamish still and we will often lie on the bed taking turns to spy or guess.


  1. Scavenger hunt

Another great way to keep house-bound kids busy is a scavenger hunt. I’ll often change these up to follow a theme like colours, food, shapes, etc and we search through a room to find the items.


  1. Take a walk

Even the best-behaved child will get tired of 4 walls. Instead of fighting with them go for a short walk around the house, garden or in our case the complex where we live, to smell flowers, photograph the birds and spot insects.


However you choose to keep your child entertained, remember to keep them comfortable, offer a lot to drink, give extra cuddles and encourage them to rest by sleeping as often as they will.

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