How To Survive A Kid Sickday

My son is home sick from school today with a mild fever and with a nose that has snot dripping freely like a soda from a dispenser that it’s upsetting his stomach (and mine too, ick!).  I’m not feeling 100% myself either, but nowhere like the flu I had last month.  It’s more jet lag, having just traveled to and from LA in a 48-hour span for work this past weekend.

sicksonMy poor little guy, sleeping next to mommy as she types away!

There was no question that he would stay home from school, but which parent would stay home with him?  This is always a dilemma in our household.  Since The Hubs had only gone back to work yesterday after a nearly three-week “holiday,” I agreed to be the nursemaid this time.   This couldn’t have been at more inconvenient time for me at work with a big project debuting today.  Luckily all the heavy lifting has been done and the kudos have been already been received, but out the pride and respect I have for my work I want to be there on launch day.  However, to keep my own personal sanity of the whole work/life balance thing, staying home today is something I willingly and lovingly do for my kidlets.

But now what do I do with my son all day?

My boy is 5 ½ and this is his first sick day from kindergarten.  I want to make this day easy for him and who am I joking, myself too! What I don’t want it to turn into is a cartoon marathon of “Spongebob Squarepants”…so I’m limiting how much TV he can watch today.  I’ve come up with a few activities that will keep us both entertained throughout the day.  The key here is that these things can be done IN BED or at least lying down, so he’s not up and running around and able to take it easy.

Napping – He’s doing it right now, or else how could I be writing this?!  A few short restful naps during the day will keep him quiet and mom can get some work done!

SickdogEven the dog is not feeling well, she’s pooped out on the bed next to my son

Stories – Reading lots of books. Right now my son is in an animal phase, so we’re reading about lizards, sharks, snakes and spiders.  Once we tire of reading, we’re going to make up our own story and draw pictures to create our very own storybook.  Knowing my boy, I’m sure it will be an action-adventure thriller with Godzilla, Ninjas and Monster Trucks to save the day.

Activity Books – My son’s great aunt gave him a crazy maze book at Thanksgiving and he just loves it.  He can keep himself occupied for a good amount of time figuring out how to solve the puzzle on his own. I put a gold star on each page he successfully completes. I’m also introducing him to Mad Libs, not sure if he’ll get it or not….

Crafts – We recently took a book out of the library about how to make elaborate paper airplanes.  Most just involve paper, scissors, tape and paper clips so we’ll see what aircraft we can create and race against each other.

School Work– Yep, this is in the mix.  My son has a spiral notecards book where each week his teacher writes in new words that he’s to learn by sight, such as “so,” “and,” “like” and “the.”  To get him to practice, I like to make it like a game show, mixing up the cards and if he gets 5 in a row right, he wins a great prize – which is really just a sticker or a penny.  He has so much fun, he doesn’t even realize he’s learning!

Feed a Cold –  Sick kids don’t always want to eat, but it’s important that they get enough nutrients and stay hydrated. For lunch we’re going to play restaurant: he’s going to give me his lunch order and I’ll write it down on a notepad and then deliver his meal on a tray. I have a box of silly straws I haven’t opened yet, and I think today might be the day to crack that box open.

As for me, I’ll be dutifully working from my mobile office (aka laptop, Blackberry, iPhone & iPad) in between these activities, checking in to see how the workday is going. All the laundry is already done, thanks to The Hubs and the house is clean, so I’m not going to feel guilty about not doing any housework.

Now it’s your turn to share.  What do you do with your kids when they are sick?

Copyright © 2013 The Harried Mom. All Rights Reserved.


  1. says

    Great ideas! We do a lot of reading and napping and TV watching – whatever it takes to get through the day. Thankfully, my kids are both usually good nappers when they’re sick so we can keep TV to a minimum. Now that I’ve written that, I’ll be eatin’ them words!
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    • TheHarriedMom says

      My kidlets totally watch TV when they are sick, but after a while they just turn to zombies….so I try to find something else to occupy them!

    • TheHarriedMom says

      The only time my son will drink juice is when he’s sick – so when he asks for it, I know he’s not feeling well. TV helps to settle them down – at least he stays still while watching, right 😉

  2. says

    I have the combination of not having an interesting-enough career, and husband earning just-enough money to be able to stay home so sick days are not an issue. But the dilemma of what to do on those days is the same for us moms everywhere!
    Lady Jennie recently posted..Better Late ThanMy Profile

    • TheHarriedMom says

      Your response made me laugh out loud! I think who gets assigned sick duty and the dilemma of what to do is universal!

  3. says

    I’ll admit it too… my kids have spent probably to much time in front of the TV when they’re sick. Usually it’s all the want to do… everything else takes to much energy.
    When my toddler is sick all he wants to do is sit with me and that’s it.
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    • TheHarriedMom says

      TV keeps them calm and quiet which is what they need when they’re sick, but after a while they just turn into zombies – so I try to change it up a bit!

    • TheHarriedMom says

      I’m sure at teenagers instead of cartoon watching it’s video games….my son is starting that himself now!

  4. Gigi says

    I have to admit, when my kids are sick we pretty much do TV all day. They typically don’t watch much, so I am ok with it!!!! I tell them that their sick day is still a mommy work day. Who am I kidding? Every day is a mommy work day!

  5. says

    Oh, sick days can be so hard. Especially when they’re too sick to go to school, but not sick enough to just veg on the couch all day. It amazes me how my kids can have a fever, and still bounce off the walls! Gotta keep them entertained, yet make sure they’re resting too.
    MommieDaze recently posted..Share Your First Kiss StoryMy Profile

    • TheHarriedMom says

      Don’t get me wrong, he got to watch PLENTY of cartoons, but I just couldn’t have the TV on all day and him be a zombie! Thanks for visiting!

  6. says

    Oooh I love a good sick day…. (but not the barfy kind) My son is 2, and so he’s still super cuddly when he doesn’t feel good. I hate that he doesn’t feel good… but I love all the extra love. He just wants to take baths and lay on me and watch cartoons! Done & done, kiddo. Thanks for the tips for when he’s older and home sick from school!
    Deborah recently posted..The second time around…My Profile

    • TheHarriedMom says

      My son is five and he just wanted to lay down in mommy’s bed with me sitting along side him. It was the only way to get him to sleep….whenever my kidlets are sick they are awfully cuddly, which I love, but also wind up getting whatever illness they have. Oh, the life of a mom! thanks for stopping by & commenting!

    • TheHarriedMom says

      My son has recently gotten into LEGO building, it’s his new obsession. I’m sure his next sickday he’ll erect something fab!

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