We’ve been struck by the sick-bug in our house this month.  Both of my boys have struggled through strep and upper respiratory infections.  Needless to say, all of the “grand plans” I had for them have fallen by the wayside.  We had to go to Plan B (and C and D…).

One of the main things kids want (and need) when they don’t feel good is some good, old-fashioned extra loving and attention from their parents.  And, attending to a child who doesn’t feel well for long periods of time can leave you exhausted.  One of my most trying places is the pediatrician’s office.  Here are a few ideas to keep your child occupied when they’re not up to snuff (and help save a bit of your sanity, too!)…

  • Play “I Spy” – give a clue for an object in the room (“I spy something green” or “I spy something tall”) and have the other person try and guess what it is.
  • Place and Trace – take several small objects from your bag, such as keys, a credit card or other objects and let your child trace around them on a piece of paper.  Can you make a set of keys from just one key?  Can you design and color your own credit card or driver’s license?
  • Experiment – how many different things from your bag or purse can stand on end?  How many can roll? 
  • Flip a coin – with younger children, have them shake it up instead of trying to flip.  Guess whether it will be heads or tails.  How many times do you guess correctly?
  • Storytelling – my son’s favorite thing to ask is, “Tell me about when you were a little girl.”  These stories are perfect for long waits in the waiting or examining room. 
  • Make a puppet – when you are in the examining room for the long haul, tear off a corner of the paper lining on the table and crumple it into a ball.  Grab a tissue and drape it over, twisting it around the ball to hold it in place.  Draw a face on it, and you have an instant puppet!  For something a bit different, take a pencil and stick the puppet on it, or balance it on your finger!
  • Above all, don’t forget that special cuddle and kiss, the hug and attention your child craves when he doesn’t feel 100%.  It rivals most medicines today!