With a little creativity, any parent can keep a sick child rested and happy. When a little girl has the flu or an ear infection, she may not have the energy for normal games and play. The Mayo Clinic encourages parents to keep children quiet with low-key activities when recovering from strep or other bacterial infections. Parents working with chronically ill children often need a wide range of activities suited to their limited ability.
No little sick girl feels her best. Little girls who suffer from chronic or serious illness may also suffer from lowered self-esteem; they may not feel pretty. Turning the house into a spa for the day helps the sick girl pamper herself and relieve stress. Try mixing equal parts of olive oil and brown sugar. Use this sugar scrub to exfoliate. Mash a bowl of green grapes and press the mush onto the face for an anti-oxidant mask that rinses with water. Paint finger and toenails for a reminder of the special day.
Resting children need plenty of activities that fit in a limited space and are easily moved. Tray games fit the bill. Simply take a cookie sheet or serving tray and fill it with a variety of items from around the house. Place the tray in front of the child and ask her to look at the tray carefully, and then cover the tray and items with a cloth. Give the child a pencil and paper and ask her to list the items she saw on the tray. Another variation is to ask the child to hide her eyes. While she isn’t looking, remove an item or two and move the other items around. Ask the child to open her eyes and figure out what’s missing. To tempt a low appetite, switch roles with the child. Give her a tray filled with a variety of healthy finger foods. The parent closes her eyes while the child eats an item or two, and then looks the tray over and guesses what the child has eaten.
Continue until the tray is empty or the child is full.Puzzles
Puzzles are a staple quiet activity. But there is more to do than just opening a box. Two sided puzzles are twice the fun. Take an older puzzle and flip it over to the wrong side. Print out pictures of families, friends or favorite items and glue them to the wrong side of the puzzle. Cut the pieces apart with a craft knife. Got an old puzzle with missing pieces? Group the pieces by their original color, or paint them with tempera paint. Glue the pieces to an old frame, a new craft frame, or even craft sticks glued into a square. Fill the frame with pictures of friends and family or give them as gifts.
A sick child often means missed schoolwork. Take the stress out of the return to school by getting make-up work done as quickly as possible. To make this chore more fun, pull out a tray again. Stock the tray with pencils, erasers and rulers. Add a name plate, and give the child her own teacher’s desk. Allow the teacher (aka your child) to explain each worksheet or assignment. Be sure to go over any notes or information from school to keep her connected with her school friends.