Every adult knows that when they are home for a sick day, lying in bed surrounded by NyQuil®, cough drops, and tissues will make everything better. Unfortunately, when you have young children at home, quiet recovery will be very difficult, and the tissues may end up stuffed in your ears rather than your nose. However, if you prepare ahead of time by constructing a “sick day arsenal” filled with everyday items, your children can have a productive, fun day with minimal help from you.  This will give you the rest you require.

The following is a list of activities with the items needed for your arsenal.  Fill a “sickie” box with these items, and your kiddos will be guaranteed to stay occupied!

Build a Fort

Have your kids gather some blankets and big comforters to drape over chairs to create a fun-filled fort!  They will love to hide and have “secret meetings” with each other in it. Once they are satisfied with their fort, they can play games, watch a movie on the laptop or even have a picnic in their newfound masterpiece!

Paint Rocks

Head outside and collect some flat, paintable rocks. Give your kids the rocks, some acrylic paint and let them go to town! You’ll be surprised with some of the cool designs they come up with!

Playing with Yarn

Ah, yarn—the gift that keeps on giving. Yarn can be used for so many different things. If your kids are more active, they will enjoy making an obstacle course out of the yarn. However, if they are more interested in arts and crafts here are plenty of project ideas!

A Scavenger Hunt

One sock, three pennies, a spoon – these are all simple household items that you could have your kids search for! Once they have found everything on your list, reward them with a popsicle or a sweet treat!  

Colored Tape

Go down to your local office store and invest in some colored tape! Kids love to set up hop scotch and create race tracks for their toy cars. This simple item is mess-free and will easily peel off your carpet.

A Camera

Do you remember when you were a kid and loved taking silly photos and videos? Us too. Letting your kids play with a camera will keep them engaged just long enough for you to make a bowl of soup and squeeze in a quick nap. Not to mention, it will be fun to look back on those “sick day” pictures as they grow up.


WORDS BY HANNAH PETERSON