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Keeping a sick child occupied

Two years ago, when we at ParentEdge did an article on ‘Safe way out of the Sniffles’, I learnt something quite important. That I should let my child stay an extra day or two at home after an episode of cold, cough and fever. Even if he is seemingly all ‘fit and fine’. Giving a child time to recover completely is said to improve immunity in the long run.

But this was really a tough ask. After two or three days (and nights) of doling out medicine, coaxing some food in and comforting and easing pains and troubles, I was sorely tempted to let my child go to school. Work had piled up and I badly needed some time and space for myself.

However, I thought I should get creative and come up with things he could do on his own – so I could do a reasonable chunk of my work while my child kept himself entertained. Some of these ideas worked even recently, and I thought I would share them with you:

(1) I pulled out all the old family albums – so my son could smile and laugh at his older sister in diapers, his amma with a ‘weird’ haircut and much younger paati and thatha

(2)He spent hours at the window – watching the building gardeners at work, mowing and pruning, construction vehicles in the distance….(normal day to day sights that he misses when at school)

(3) I gave him a voice recorder to play with – he had fun recording funny noises and playing them back – electronics without a screen is all fun with no side effects!

(4) He planned a surprise for his sister by sorting all her bangles by colour, her hair clips by size…

(5) I gave him some ‘grown up’ art and travel books – the huge, colourful pictures had him hooked for hours.

None of the stuff listed above is particularly demanding, and will not drain the child of energy – most important for recovery. Yes, all of these can also be done when the child is not recovering from an illness. But there lies the trick. Save up these slow, ‘low-energy-demanding’ activities for the days when you badly need them! And do share the ones that work for you.


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Ramya G. is an Editor at ParentEdge. Her interactions with her two children reaffirm her belief that growing children have infinite potential. Her interest in nurturing young intellects is rivalled only by her love for writing.

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2 thoughts on “Keeping a sick child occupied

  1. Kritika Srinivasan

    Reading, art projects, making a card for dad….beading necklaces. Basically, I get my daughter to make things – cards, posters, paintings, and then she has fun giving them to her grandparents and best friends at school.


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