Tips: How to Entertain Kids When They Are on Bed Rest

activities for kids on bed rest

The past few days have been a whirlwind, both of our kids have been really sick since the weekend and after spending way too much time at the hospital our eldest was diagnosed with asthma and pneumonia and our youngest with croup and a lung infection. Both kids have strict bed rest orders from the Dr. and they are slowly recovering.

Unfortunately, there is not such a thing as bed rest when you have a toddler and a 5-year-old. My kindergartener is home from school for the week and keeping both kids entertained and resting can be challenging. If they start running around or getting too active their coughs come back with a vengeance.

Below are some of the things that have worked with us to help keep both kids busy and resting at the same time. The goal is for them to not be running around the house so they can fully recover within the next couple of days.

  1. Screen Time: We have a strict no T.V. or tablet rule for the boys during weekdays, they are only allowed to watch T.V. on weekends. However,  T.V. is a life saver when the kids are sick and they need to relax. Both children have been enjoying their favourite shows and playing with their devices as they recover. I still don’t do T.V. all day but they are definitely watching lots more than they usually watch.
  2. Arts and Crafts: We have been doing lots and lots of fun easy crafts. Finger painting, colouring, cutting, decorating, etc. The kids have been happily entertained doing that while sitting at the table. Here are some of the crafts we have been working on.
  3. Story Time: Both boys love when we read to them. We have been spending a lot of time reading books from the library and going trough our book cases to re-read old books. Easy and fun for us all.
  4. Writing/Reading Practice: I have a few workbooks for my kindergartener and we have been working on a few pages each day. Today I went over to his school and got some worksheets from his teacher so he can work on those from home, I like that he will be doing the same things his friends are working on at school.
  5. Playing with Old Toys: We have a couple of big boxes of old toys in the garage, usually rotating toys every couple of seasons. I brought one of the boxes into the house today and they loved playing with their “new” toys they had forgotten about! Kept them busy for a while.
  6. Baking Together: The middle of the winter is the perfect time to bake yummy snacks with the kids. I set up a couple of mini stations for them to mix their own “ingredients” as I baked our goodies. They had lots of fun pretending to bake their own treats. If they were healthy they would have been actually helping with the baking but I wanted to keep the food germ free!
  7. Try Extra Naps: Our youngest has been sleeping a bit more than usual and our 5-year-old is taking at least one nap a day. Adding extra naps can help with their recovery as they rest and relax a bit more.

How do you keep your children entertained when they should be on bed rest? Share your own tips below!

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Angela V

Founder and Writer at One Smiley Monkey blog
Hi, my name is Angela van Tijn and I live in Vancouver, Canada with my wonderful husband, our two boys and our puppy. I am the founder and primary contributor behind One Smiley Monkey. Welcome to my blog!

12 responses to “Tips: How to Entertain Kids When They Are on Bed Rest”

  1. I’m relieved to hear that they are both on the mend. I remember having 4 of mine down at the same time with chicken pox, that was exhausting. I used to lay all 4 down on towels on the floor and then powder them, then it was ‘all roll over’ and then their backs were powdered. I’m not too sure it helped with the itching but it was what the Dr ordered. 🙂

  2. Great ideas… We also used to have colouring time (including Mama), lots of story time, movie marathons and we also did bubble baths (so they could play and the steam and heat helped with decongestion).

  3. Absolutely love story time. Great way to connect and feed their interests in books

  4. Good to hear you kids are on their way to getting better, but sorry to hear they haven’t been well. Story time was always my favourite, whether being read to or doing the reading.

  5. These are great,thanks so much for sharing.We love books !

  6. I have been really lucky and none of my girls have ever needed bed rest. I hope your little ones are mending well and getting back to themselves. Never fun when our little are sick. Great tips and I will remember them if ever the time comes when one of my monkies are on bed rest!

  7. Very helpful ideas. I really hope your babies are feeling better!

  8. We read dozens of books this weekend with a sick girlie,but she is feeling so much better today !

  9. It is difficult to keep children entertained when they are ‘on the mend.’ I tried some of the things you did. If only a little one was ill, I did a lot of rocking them as this seemed to soothe the smallest ones. Nothing seems to be as comforting as Mom’s arms. I kept a vaporizor going until the cold was over. Asthma and Croup are very scary for both Mom and child. You will probably need a break yourself , as it can be exhausting looking after sick childtren.

  10. Those are all great tips,we have one down sick now,hope he feels better before Sunday !

  11. Encouraging extra naps, more tv time(a real treat during the daytime) and reading for the older children are all lifesavers. I have had a few periods of one or more being sick at once. It is quite a challenge since three of my five suffered from Croup as well.
    Icecream and a small amount of orange and ginger pop were great treats as well.

  12. Those are great tips for keeping them resting. I liked adding some new small dollar store toys.

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