January 9, 2018

We never think about how to occupy a sick child at home until it’s too late. But don’t worry, these activities will keep you busy all day.


Kids and germs go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s almost inevitable during cold and flu season that your child at some point will get sick and be unable to attend school or daycare.

I’m a work-outside-the-home mom and when my daughters were in daycare and preschool, especially, they seemed to bring EVERY single illness home with them during the winter months. While taking the day off to take care of your child can be disruptive to your family’s regular routine, it can also mean extra time together, just the two of you. Why not make the most of it with some fun, sick day activities?

It’s great to have a busy bag on hand for sick days or a designated basket or drawer in your family room or play room filled with quiet-time activities. We have a drawer in our den filled with card games, coloring books, puzzle books and more.

Here are 10 of the best sick day activities for kids:

1. Work on a photo album together.

My girls love to look at pictures of themselves as babies and special photos from our family vacations and school events. Work on organizing family pictures together and updating your family photo album.

2. Create a vision board.

There are lots of sick day crafts, but this is one of our favorites. Cut out photos and inspiring words from old magazines and make a poster of dreams and goals for the year together. It’s a fun way to artistically collage your thoughts.

3. Play classic card games.

I love old-school card games, like Old Maid and Go Fish. They remind me of my childhood and it’s great to teach kids that not all games require batteries or a stylus.

4. Build a fort.

Rest is an important part of the healing process. Have fun with it and help your child create a comfy fortress with all their favorite stuffed toys, blankets and pillows.

5. Printables.

There are TONS of great websites that offer fun printables, such as Crayola and Dover Publications (weekly email). Just hit Google to find more.

6. Paper dolls.

There’s something so fun about cutting out and making paper dolls. It’s a great quiet time activity and you can find tons of cute ones to print via Pinterest.

7. Watch home videos.

We have some amazingly cute home movies of my girls as babies. It’s fun to relive those sweet memories.

8. Nourish your inner book worm.

A sick day is the perfect time to curl up together and enjoy a book. Try a book of short stories or poems as something a little different. They’re also perfect for sick days when your child might not feel like delving into a big book.

9. Puzzle books.

One of my children loves to work on word-find and crossword puzzles. You can easily find these at dollar stores, and they’re great because you can pick up where you last left off with ease! They’re also great for taking to the doctor’s office.

10. Snuggle.

The most important step toward healing is to give your kids extra attention and love. That’s one of THE best remedies any parent can give their child.

Remember, sick days can be great for spending quiet time with your child. Make the most of them!


Native Nashvillian Jamie Reeves is a mom to two girls who has been blogging since 2005 at Blonde Mom Blog.

sick day activities for kids

Vanderbilt’s Children’s After-Hours Clinics offer the convenience of a walk-in clinic with care provided by a board-certified pediatrician from Children’s Hospital. No appointment is necessary, but we recommend calling your pediatrician first. Learn more about services and find locations for Children’s Hospital After Hours Clinic locations.