Creative Ways to Spend a Sick Day

tea for twoHow do you get through sick days?

With Spring just around the corner, I thought that maybe maybe maybe we would be the lucky ones who made it through winter without getting sick. Wishful thinking! My oldest came down with a fever the other day and we’ve been holed up at home, gathering our energy and drinking lots of fluids.

reading peg leg pekeI have an arsenal of indoor activity ideas, but to be stuck inside all day long…that’s another story. There was a break in the day when we felt a little better and threw on our wellies for some puddle stomping. Fresh air always helps, doesn’t it?

The other day I fell in love with this article on Little Stories called How to Pretend. The idea that really stuck with me was about acting out books to bring them to life.

I pulled a big box of stuffed animals off a top shelf — little friends that we haven’t seen in ages. That alone was thrilling to my kids. And then we picked out a few favorite books with animal characters that we could bring to life with our toys and puppets.

I envisioned that I would lead a puppet show of sorts while reading the books, sort of like a librarian or preschool teacher telling a story through a felt board. But my 3 year old wanted to enact the roles while I read. I live for these moments that surprise.

reading with props stuffed animalsBrown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? was especially good for putting all of our toys to work. We don’t have a cat stuffed animal, but my kids were happy to substitute bunny. They really loved this and I’m sure we’ll do it again on our healthy days too.

So it looks like we’re home for one more day, just to be safe. I have a fun Saint Patty’s Day photo booth invitation set up, but not too many more ideas.

What do you like to do with your kids on sick days? How do you keep them happily engaged indoors all day long?

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  1. says

    aw, i hope N feels better soon! and no way!!! we have the same exact peter rabbit mug which was mine when i was a kid, and now i use it for my N. is yours a treasure from the 70s, too? 

    • Rachelle says

      Thanks so much, Jen. I had the same mug (treasure) too, but it still lives at my parents’ house. When I found this one at a 2nd hand store, I couldn’t buy it fast enough. Ah, the memories. I wish they still made them.

  2. says

    Thanks so much for sharing our post on pretend! Your daughters have it down! I look forward to sharing this with my readers as inspiration! And if you need another use for many of your animals “Goodnight Gorilla” is hilarious. A dog is a good substitute for the hyena! 🙂

    • Rachelle says

      Thanks again for the great idea, Kim! We love Goodnight Gorilla, and of course we don’t have a hyena toy. Dog would be perfect.

  3. M Wall says

    Great post! I like to pull out the animals as well, and we pretend that they are sick too. My son is the doctor (or nurse) and we show them what to do to feel better (drink liquids, take their medicine, blow their noses, get rest etc.) It seems to help him understand better when I ask him to do the same thing.

    • Rachelle says

      This is such a great idea, and I can’t think of a better time to put the doctor kit to work!

    • Rachelle says

      And it’s on these days that it seems like you have to bring out fresh ideas that put a burst of energy into their spirits.

  4. RookieMom Whitney says

    I love this idea. It’s the kind of thing that I file away and when I remember it, I think, why don’t we do this more often. Similar in spirit is a virtual hide and seek game we play (usually in the car). Probably for age 4+. Take turns choosing a place in your mind without the house and then the other person “looks” for you by saying, “I’m walking in the front door and heading for the dining room. Are you under the table? Now I’m going upstairs. Did I miss you?” The other person gives hints and squeals as if they are being found.

    • Rachelle says

      I know exactly what you mean, Whitney! When I read about this idea last week, I didn’t think I’d be using it so soon. And I’ll be filing your virtual hide and seek idea away (and will no doubt use it tomorrow!). 

      • RookieMom Whitney says

        We had so much fun doing this with Everyone Poops. My kids spent an hour digging up an animal, plush or plastic, to represent each animal in the book! They wanted to then box up those animals with the book to make a kit and to set an intention to do 4 “book to plays” as we named them each week. Success!

        • Rachelle says

          You are sooo cool for coming back with an update. I heart you! As I remember reading in the original article, your kids will never look at that book the same way once you read it like a play. Your kids might be marketing geniuses, too.