image 15 ways to pass the day with a sick toddler apart from TV!

sick toddler

We have had months of illness after illness in our household, and literally just coming off the back of a double whammy of Flu and Hand Foot and Mouth – gah! Sick days can seem very, very long indeed, and usually extremely hard as your little one clings to (usually) Mum for dear life.

You’re tired, they are whiney and don’t want to be put down, and with the usual busy day of activities and outings pretty much on hold until their recovery, it’s time to get reacquainted with what low key activities you can do within your four walls to avoid tipping into insanity.

That’s precisely what we have been doing over here, and so here is a list of tried and tested ways to pass the day with a sick toddler…

1. Stickers

Stickers in all forms! Though I find foam stickers and sticker books pass the most hours. I have a huge stash of the foam variety purely for these days! Get creative and decorate boring things – like that makeshift box bed for dolly or other things you don’t mind getting stickered up to give them a little project to get busy with.

2. Books

An obvious one, but this is the best time to cuddle up with some books. Bring over the book basket and rediscover some reads which haven’t seen the light of day for a while. This is when lift the flap or books with different textures etc. really come in useful!

3. Flash cards

If they are not too out of it, reciting and practicing words they already know can be a morale boosting sick activity for toddlers.

4. Teddy do…

Your little one is too sick to do the things they love like run, jump, dance or sing… so let them live vicariously by letting them watch teddy (read: you) do the things they love instead!

5. Finger puppets

Get a whole bunch of finger puppets and tell a little story, play peak-a-boo or tickle with them. This is a great slouching around activity as can all be done from semi-reclining position. If your child is up to it, they can get involved with the story telling too.

6. Bubbles

Blowing bubbles (either you or them depending on how poorly they are) is likely to cheer up even the most grumpy of poorly ones!

7. Water painting

I am a huge fan of water paintings sets which allows little ones to paint anytime, anywhere without getting messy, thus being a perfect activity for sick ones! Stock up on a couple of water painting books which can be used while cuddled up with mummy.

8. Play doh

So long as they are well enough to sit up, play doh is an excellent way to while away and hour or so.

9. Playing sleeping

Seeing as they need all the rest they can get, and might be hairy on the naps, playing sleeping (which my one loves) is a sneaky way of getting in some much need R&R. Throw some extra bears into the mix for good measure.

10. Play phone

You can pretend that all the family members are calling up to find how the invalid is doing!

11. Cutting and sticking

Grab an old mag and get your toddler to pick out pictures which appeal to them. If they’re feeling weak and feeble, or are not old enough, make the cutting and sticking a combined effort.

12. Little figures

If your little one is into little figures, then these can be a great thing to play with in a reclined position. Throw different objects into the mix that they can make walk, climb or jump – all on your toddlers lap.

13. Drawing and colouring

Another great lap activity..make sure you always have a stash of colouring books for times like these!

14. Eye spy out the window

Being cooped up ill doesn’t mean you have to be totally shut off from the outside world. Hold them up by the window and help them see the world go by or pick out what they can see outside.

15. Threading

So long as they are not too new to this (read: annoyance), this is another handy lap activity.

OK ok so I know the title says apart from TV but honestly, if all the above options have been exhausted or not appealing to your little one in their sick state, then it’s time to slob out in front of the TV – so long as it’s age appropriate etc. We shouldn’t beat ourselves up about letting them watch too much TV during their sick days…after all there are a lot of hours to fill in a sick day and what did we you always used to do when you were sick (that is before you had kids!)?

And now for mum…make sure you have a nice glass of wine poured for you at the end of the day – you sure as hell deserve it!

What other sick day activities do you find work well for your toddler? Do leave a comment and share…

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20 comments

  1. These are all great suggestions and I am going to give some of them a try! Not only are these great for sick days but they would also work well for rainy days 🙂 We’ve had a lot of sickness floating around here too and I am going to stock up on a few of the supplies you mentioned for the next round that will inevitably come in the future, thanks 🙂

  2. Great list. When my toddler is really sick though all he wants is watch TV or sit with me. That is due to the temperature.Other than that I will definitely keep this list in mind.

  3. Thanks for these tips, I am thoroughly guilty of using TV way too much in our house when people are sick. How awful Is HFM?? My twins had it last year, poor little things. Then after that they got conjunctivitis. And then gastro. It was a fun few weeks! Will def keep these tips in mind next time someone is unwell. I’ve GOT finger puppets somewhere…..

    • HFM…totally vile!!! My little one’s teeth practically disappeared back into her gums! We have had a similar hideous run here…enough is enough! I think the TV thing is fine but sometimes it’s good to mix it up – my little one just wanted to watch the same thing on repeat all day holding me hostage on the coach with her and it drove me nuts! x

  4. Great list. My children are older now but I remember the days. They would be so miserable and I could not do anything to make them get better any quicker, then I would be exhausted and grumpy and they would be sick exhausted and grumpy. We would make homemade Popsicles, Not hard to do but they enjoyed making their own. And usually they were not eating correctly and I wanted them to get juice and sugar and vitamins to help them get better sooner. And lots of playing in the bath. It would take up time and they loved it.

    • Thank you! Exhausted and grumpy pretty much sums it up eh? Gosh I wish my little one would get into the popsicles & bath thing – not much luck on that front as yet!! Who could refuse popsicles when sick!!??!

  5. Loving the list and some great suggestions. It is a right royal pain in the are when they are sick and coupled up for mummy and child. So being organised and having things to do can relief some of the pressure/boredom. X

  6. i know the feeling my toddler seems to just be ill nonstop these last few months, she had hand foot and mouth recently too so we have been stuck indoors. I have been slowly going crazy. Some great suggestions to keep little ones entertained x #thelist

  7. This is brilliant as I am always worried about my kids watching too much tv. I would hate to just have them babysat by one. I am always trying to get creative. Great post. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

    • I definitely have a love-hate relationship with TV, even more so when sickness comes knocking on our door. Hope some of these help next time you have poorly ones in the house and thanks for hosting as ever Jenny!

  8. Thanks for sharing all these great ideas. Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

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