20 Non-Electronic Ideas to Entertain a Sick Child

Looking for things to do when your kids are sick? None of us like sick kids. Runny nose, a low or high fever, strep throat, a viral infection, whatever it is, it makes us sad when we have sick children.

But we have so many fun things younger kids and older kids will love that aren’t just screen time.

ways to keep sick kids entertained

This post contains affiliate links.

Fun Things For Kids To Do When They’re Sick

I wanted to share these non-electronic ideas to entertain a sick child because as the days run on, the ideas run out. When our kids are sick, they are home… all day. They can’t play outside, they can’t go to school, you can’t take them to a park.  

It makes my heart break to know that they already don’t feel well, but to top it off… they can’t be anywhere but home (we don’t want to spread germs!) Today… we will talk about ways to make them SMILE even when they are sick. 

Ways to Keep Sick Kids Entertained When They’re Sick

1. Reading

Read, read and read again. And if they can’t read, then you can read them a book. It’s a good idea for a sick toddler who may not want to move around or a great way for an older kid to enjoy some excitement while not feeling well.

2. Where’s Waldo Printables

Get a few “look and find” books (like “Where’s Waldo?”).  If you don’t have a book, print off some, look & find pictures online.

3. Build An Indoor Pillow Fort

Build a fort and read in it. Here are a TON of indoor forts that you could try! Pick one together and go for it.

25 Indoor Forts for Kids With Cabin Fever

4. Play With Toys

Play with toys. Simple, right? Your kids will love it if you get on the floor with them or hop into their bed with some princesses, knights, and cars! 

5. Look At Old Photos

Look at old pictures in photo albums or online. Our kids could look at pictures of themselves as babies for hours on end.

6. Ocean Crafts

Bring the ocean inside and pretend to be on vacation at the beach.

7. A Warm Bubble Bath

Take a bath. When our younger kids are sick, they love to hop in a  warm bathtub. The warm water is good for a fever and they play with their water toys.

8. Enjoy A Movie Day

Find a movie that you haven’t seen in a while, hop into your bed and snuggle up together. Last week, our son told me that his favorite part about being sick was laying in my bed watching movies with me.  Oh- and eating ice cream to make his throat feel better.

9. Make A Milkshake

Make a milkshake. Depending on how sick they are, our kids love to know that they are going to have a milkshake! It is so soothing on their throats and such a treat since we never have milkshakes. (and sometimes I will run to get one at a drive-thru restaurant, because I will need to get out of the house, too!)

10. Fun Mermaid Craft

Make a mermaid craft. Our daughter loves all things mermaid, so making a mermaid or pirate craft would keep her happy, even in her most sick moments.

11. DIY Dinosaur Craft

Build a dinosaur out of toilet paper rolls. Our kids have so much fun doing this!

indoor activities sick days

Ways to Keep Sick Kids Entertained

12. Free Printable Coloring Pages

Draw a lot. Print out some free coloring pages and just color, draw and glue to your heart’s content!

13. Have A Spa Day

Paint their nails, put on fake tattoos, play beauty parlor or hair salon.

14. Pretend Play Doctor

Play nurse and doctor. When our kids are sick, they love when I act like a doctor. Ask your child to be that patient (and even when they already are, pretending will be more fun) and then switch roles.

15. Fold Clothes Together

Fold clothes together. It might seem boring, but it will be an easy way of resting while talking together.  “You put socks together while I fold shirts.”

16. Plan A Vacation Together

Look at vacation spots online together. Our kids and I love to look at pictures of our favorite vacation spot!

17. Play A Board Game

Play a good, old fashioned board game! Find ones like Sorry or Trouble and have a blast.

18. Paint With Kool Aid

Let him paint with Kool-aid.

19. Make Up A Story

Make up a story. Sometimes, our favorite moments are when we are sitting together and making up a story. Each person says one sentence or one part and then the next person takes a turn. Example:  I would say “The bear came over to the boys and said… ”  and then our child would finish it and make his own.

20. Build A Racecar Track

Build a track with masking tape and let your child play there.

The Most Important Thing When You’re Kid Is Sick:

The most important way to keep sick kids entertained is just to be there if you can

I used to love being sick because…
It meant snuggling with my mom on our blue couch.
It meant lying under her navy and white knitted blanket while she rubbed my head.  
And it meant eating mint chocolate chip ice cream on the couch and watching my favorite movies.  

The most important part is just spending time with your child…  to get him on the road to recovery.  

More Sick Day Ideas From Kids Activities Blog

peppermint essential oil playdough

Whether it’s flu season, you’re stuck at home eating the brat diet, or you have other common symptoms of an illness, here are more fun activities kids of all ages will love.

Do you have any good ideas to make sick days better? Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you.