How To Entertain A Sick Child At Home

Children are usually full of restless energy and excitement. More so when they are unwell. How do you manage a sick child who is fed up of staying indoors due to an illness?

By Ashwin Dewan  • 7 min read

How To Entertain A Sick Child At Home

Ranjita’s 2-year-old son, Pradip, fell sick with a cold and mild fever. A quick visit to the doctor assured Ranjita that it was nothing to worry about and that Pradip would recover with a couple of days' rest. But, Ranjita was at her wit’s end trying to think of ways by which to keep Pradip pinned to one place so he got the much-required rest to get better.

When children are sick, nursing them back to health can be quite a challenge for most parents. A sick child is usually bored and cranky, and keeping him entertained and cheerful despite his illness can be a daunting task even for the most hands-on parent.

Ranjita had a quick-fix solution when she wanted Pradip to sit quietly and rest – she turned on the TV and let him watch his favourite cartoons. However, this proved to be a failure when the duration of rest extended to a couple of days. “How do I keep him from complaining of boredom?” she wondered.

Do you often find yourself in the same spot as Ranjita? Here are some time-tested techniques to prevent your child from getting bored. Try them so you and your child can get some much-needed rest.

Gift your child a new toy

Your child may have a box full of toys to play with at any given point during the growing up years. However, a little gift of a special toy will make his eyes light up with joy, especially when he is sick. It rekindles his interest in the toys. It also draws him closer to you, giving him a feeling of gratitude that aids the recovery process.

Fight boredom with books and music

Books and soothing music make perfect companions for a sick child. Reading is easily the best way to spend some quiet time at home. Read aloud to your little one when you want him to rest or take a nap. Stories about fairies and dragons will help him conjure up images that will take his mind away from his illness. Play music that he is fond of to calm him down when he is trying to fight an illness.

Read the article below to know how music works wonders on the brain.

Bring out the photo album

Is your little one tired of playing with the same toy every day? Time for you to bring out the photo album. Dig up old family photos and take her on a journey back in time. The photos will help her recollect memories of a get-together, a birthday party or an outing. The delightful moments spent watching the pictures will cheer her up and quicken the healing process.

Play board games

If your child is old enough to play them, board games are a great way to keep him entertained. Some classic board games like Snakes and Ladders, chess and Ludo are not only fun but they take time to play, so your child will remain occupied for hours together.

Note: Taking short ‘shut-eye’ breaks from the game will prevent your child from getting tired.

Play Hide and Seek

If your child is suffering from an illness that does not require him to lie down in bed the whole day, try playing Hide and Seek with him. Start by hiding objects in easy-to-find spots and send your child on a mission to hunt them down. Next, find interesting nooks or dark corners in your house to hide in and call out to your child, so she is guided to the spot and is able to ‘find’ you. This will thrill your child to no end.

Note: Remember to watch for signs of strain and refrain from overdoing the game.

Use the video chat facility

A sick child is usually comforted by familiar faces and surroundings. Use your computer or smartphone to connect to Skype or other video-calling services to call up a grandparent or a friend the child is fond of. Talking to someone he knows (other than the parent who is always around) will cheer up the child and alleviate his boredom to a certain extent.

Being sick does not necessarily have to mean medicines and bed rest for your child. Use your imagination and creativity to make sick days fun and entertaining for her with these simple activities. 

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Looking for fun ways to keep your preschooler engaged at home during the pandemic? Check out Little Learners at Home, a home learning programme specifically designed for 3 to 5 year olds by our team of experts.