9 At-home activities for sick kids

Dec 2, 2009 at 3:02 p.m. ET

Most kids like to fake a fever every now and then so they can skip school and play video games all day. But when kids are really sick and staying home, they might need a little pick-me-up to help them feel better. Here are some at-home activities that children can enjoy while they are getting well.

Child coloring in pajamas

9. Steamy swirls

If your child has a cough or congested chest, sometimes a steamy shower will make her feel better. Instead of actually putting her in the shower, let her stay in the bathroom (with the door closed to keep the steam in) and draw on the mirrors. Sure, you'll have to grab some glass cleaner and paper towels to clean the streaks off afterward, but it's a great non-TV activity that will help her feel better, too.

8. Color me well

Pick up some new crayons or markers and a coloring or activity book for your homebound little one. Keep a few packs on hand during cold and flu season so you're always prepared! This is a perfect activity for sick children because they can do this lying down in bed without exerting too much precious energy. If he's missing a fun activity at school that day -- like a field trip or special guest -- have him draw a picture of the activity. This can help him feel included even if he's not able to attend.

7. Crafty kids

If your sick kid is up to the task, have her help you put together an art box. Find any cardboard box around the house and have her decorate it with glitter, stickers and markers or crayons. Fill the box with colored felt and other fabrics of varying colors and textures, along with pipe cleaners, beads, sequins and glue. Encourage her to create an abstract picture based on how she's feeling.

6. Not-bored games

Play a game with your child that uses more mental than physical energy, such as Memory, Scrabble, Tic-Tac-Toe or Hangman. Another idea: Print some word find games from the SheKnows Kids' Activity Center.

5. Give him an earful

Books may get tossed to the side in favor of other, more physical activities on a daily basis, but when your child is sick, a little quiet is just the thing. Serve some chicken noodle soup in a mug, cuddle up with a cozy blanket and get lost in a good story.

Up next: The top 4 sick day crafts for kids

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