It’s the snotty-nose time of year, guys. Yup, and Niagara Girl’s had her first sick days off school. In the spirit of managing the mucus (and keeping your sanity), I’ve come up with a few simple, non-screen-time suggestions that will keep the munchkin occupied and resting, and hey, you might have some fun too.
- Coloring – a simple, therapeutic and fun activity for both of you. Even before today’s latest adult coloring book fad, I’ve always loved to color, especially with crayons. (I could have invented that shit…hindsight…I know) It’s a nice quiet activity that you and the germ-generator can enjoy together. It’s also great for their fine motor skills, and gives them something to concentrate on….while you wait for the Tylenol to kick in.
- Board Games – one of our favorites is Memory. It’s simple, quiet and fun. It develops a skill for them, and by now the drugs have taken effect and you’re guaranteed a win!
- Stories – by now it’s probably snack time, and if you’re unlucky like me, the kid doesn’t nap anymore. So cut up an orange and snuggle on the couch with a few favorite stories. Stories are a great way to relax for both of you. Throw some funny voices in there and see if you can get some giggles from the snot-smearer next to you.
- Stretching games – get into the old school and break out “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes”, “I’m a Little Teapot”, or if you’re feeling really adventurous, do some easy yoga stretches with you goober-goblin. It’s a great way to get their blood flowing, moving those white blood cells to demolish the germie-germs. Great for stress relief for both of you too.
- Indoor Picnic – the first time I did this with my daughter, I got major mommy points. It was the middle of winter, so I laid out a blanket in the living room, made a pb& j sandwich for both of us, poured some milk and put together a fruit salad to share. You might want to swap the milk out for juice this time around, but it’s a fun way to eat healthy when you’re little one might not even feel like eating. It just might break that barrier too. Clean up is nothing; just clear the dishes and throw the blanket in the wash.
- Hide and Seek – this is a favorite too, although my daughter still likes to tell me where she’s hiding. Again, it’s a simple, old-school game that’s fun, and even a little physical. I’ve found it encourages a little problem solving too, “Where else can I hide?”
- Play Toys – now this one might sound pretty obvious, but really, if you make the effort to get a view from your floor, you might just connect with your mucus-machine in a different way. Throw some funny voices in for your My Little Pony, or your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and let the giggles resound.
- I Spy – Did you ever play this when you were a kid? Best game ever for a little one under the weather. Put together an afternoon snack, snuggle on the sofa and “I Spy” different things all over the room. Color recognition, cognitive thinking, all while resting comfortably. And switch it up if you want. “I spy something square-shaped.” Hey, why not?
- Hide the Stuffies – I have to credit my husband for this one. He’s a bloody genius, I swear. Pick a few stuffies and hide them throughout the room, while your booger-blower hides their eyes. Hide them high and low, inside vases, under chairs, on top of lamp shades. That kid will just love looking for each one, while getting some mild exercise at the same time.
- Puzzles – by now it’s the end of the day, and you’re ready to start dinner. Set this time for independent play if you can and break out a puzzle or two, or any independent option you can think of while you get dinner on.
Ahhhhhh. Now that the sickie is in bed, snucking and snoring away, crack open that bottle of wine and relax with a book…or maybe, my blog? *smile* You’ve earned it.
Now don’t get me wrong, television and iOS games both have places in our home, but sometimes it’s good for all of us to unplug and get back to basics. If your rugrat is anything like mine, they’ll appreciate learning how creative you are and in turn, use it in their own play as they grow. Now if I could just get her to play by herself, I’d be golden.
Your turn. What activities or games do you play when your little one is sick? New ideas just add to the collective parent arsenal, so please share them in the comments below.
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