How To Entertain Kids When Mom Is Sick

This post brought to you by Fellowes . All opinions are 100% mine.

Remember when a sick day meant you could lie on the couch intermittently napping and catching up on your favorite TV shows? When you are a parent, there is no such thing as a sick day. It’s more like a get-through-it day.

Last week, I hit the trifecta when I got sick while my hubby was on a business trip and my kids were still recovering. Being sick is no fun. No one has a good time when they are sick, and no one has a good time when mommy is sick. 

According to the Fellowes 2014 Cold and Flu Report, 46% of Americans are concerned about getting sick during cold and flu season. (You can lump me into that group.) 

To reduce the cold and flu season risk in the home, Fellowes recommends a four-step process:

  1. Ask about a flu shot
  2. Wash and sanitize hands regularly
  3. Wipe down surfaces with powerful disinfectants
  4. Purify the air indoors

Do you purify your air? Think about it, if air purifiers like the Fellowes AeraMax can help remove airborne particles including viruses and germs from the air you breathe in your home, why wouldn’t you use them as part of your arsenal for cold and flu season. 

Fact – air purifiers with True HEPA filters remove 99.97% of the airborne particles including viruses, germs, dust, mold, pollen, ragweed, pet dander and cigarette smoke.

I’ll be reviewing the new Fellowes AeraMax™ DX-55 next month, and I am excited to add it to my four-step process for keeping my house germ free. Not to mention it will help clean the allergens out of the air helping me to breathe easier. I am excited to check out the AeraSmart™ Sensor that monitors the air quality and automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep your air purified.

How To Entertain Kids When Mom Is Sick

Of course, even if you do everything you can to protect yourself from falling ill, sometimes the sickies sneak in. Since there are no sick days, here some ideas for entertaining the kids when mom is sick.

Hang Up Your Cape – Sorry supermom, you can’t do it all. Give yourself a break – the laundry and the bathroom can wait. 

Helping Hands – Little ones love to lend a helping hand, so put your extra hands to work assisting with smaller kids and fetching you a new box of tissues.

Indoor Picnic – The kids have to eat, but you just want to lay down. Spread a picnic blanket on the floor in the living room, the kids will get a kick out of eating on the floor and you can lie next to them while the eat. 

Quite Time – If your kids still nap, sleep while they sleep. But if naps aren’t in the picture, encourage quite play. It takes some practice (when you are not sick), but when perfected it can be your sick day lifeline.

Movie Day - Go ahead, let them zone out on the TV for the whole day if you must. You won’t be sick forever. You can return to normal when you feel normal again.

Story Time – Frog in your throat? Spread out the books and ask the kids to read to you. You will save your voice (and your energy) while they work on their reading skills — even if they “read” the pictures.

Playdate – Call in a pinch hitter. If you get hit hard, but the kids are healthy, ask a friend’s mom if they can come play. Of course, this only works if your kids are healthy, you don’t want to get the other family sick too.

Take Out – Take a break from meal prep and plan for take out. Better yet, who delivers?

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  1. It is so hard to have the kids home sometimes but I always find them something to do and now you have given me more ideas, it’s amazing how I have all these things in my mind that I want to do but can never think of them, your awesome

  2. Mary Williams says:

    I totally agree with movie day. My son would sit and watch movies all day with me, or sit and play with toys whenever I’ve been sick. I’m lucky that when I’m sick he understands and will let me rest.

  3. I like the idea of an indoor picnic. I’ll put on netlix and just let them watch whatever for the day.

  4. Such a helpful post. I think the bit about not being supermom is essential. When you’re sick the best thing you can do is take care of yourself. I’ve done the picnic thing – my girls LOVE it!

  5. Take out sounds real nice right now. I’m not feeling too good, but can’t take a break.

  6. When I first saw this post I thought it was about how to entertain sick kids. But as I read more closely, I loved how it was focused on how to survive when a parent is sick. Thanks for a great post!

  7. Would.loove an indoor air purifier. Wish the kids had them in their classrooms too!
    Inalak at msn dot com

  8. shelly peterson says:

    This is a great post and very helpful. I dont have an air purifier but would love to get one.

  9. candy kratzer wenzel says:

    We do the movie date or ship them off to their grandparents. When sick I usually just motivate myself to keep on going though.

  10. Holly Thomas says:

    Air purifiers are very helpful, I don’t remember how I used to live without one!

  11. It’s so hard when Mom gets sick. I feel like anyone else in the house that gets sick gets a break. Those are some great tips on how to entertain the kids!

  12. Terri Herman says:

    When my children were younger, I kept sets of toys organized in totes, boxes, bags, etc. I would rotate these regularly so they wouldn’t get tired of playing with them and the pieces would stay together. (They had lots of other toys that stayed available all the time such as kitchen center, dolls, etc.) I would pull out some things they hadn’t had in a while if I was feeling under the weather or if I had something I needed to give my attention to without having to worry too much about what they were in to in the other room.

  13. Definitley not an easy feat!!! Thanks for sharing this post!

  14. Jackie Fitzpatrick says:

    We have done most of these! I love the indoor picnic idea.

  15. Great ideas, especially take out; it does help that if mom is sick, food is delivered or picked up by another person.

  16. Marti Tabora says:

    It’s so hard when you are sick, these are really great tips and ideas. Thank you for sharing these.

  17. I need to print out this list and keep it where I can find it when I’m sick. My brain usually turns to mush when I’m sick.

  18. Dorothy Teel says:

    How neat a lot of great ideas for entertaining kids when you are sick and the main thing to remember is that give your children some simple things they can do, they love to help and if they know they are helping mommy cause mommy is sick they will love it and remember that children can keep them selves entertained if we allow them, they do not need mommy guided activities all the time, give them sheets, towels, blankets let them set up a fort in the living room, they will play all day with their creations.

  19. Great article. We do need to turn our focus on ourselves every now and then, not just when sick.

  20. These are some great and helpful ideas.

  21. Margaret Smith says:

    Some great ideas. I know my kids love to give a hand.

  22. These are great ideas! Now, I know what to do next time (just hopefully not anytime soon since I have been sick enough for the past year, lol).

  23. I like the idea to let kids help. It makes them feel important and useful.

  24. I agree with having a back-up plan with regards to a pinch hitter. Whether that means someone else comes in to help out or you take the kids somewhere else. There will come a day where you may not be able to get out of bed due to a fever and you must have some sort of back-up plan in place.

  25. rita leonard says:

    with my family far away, movie day is the best solution. It keeps them quiet and occupied and does not hurt for a day or two

  26. Todd Lovessweeps says:

    I’m the Dad so it’s my job to keep the kids busy if Mom is sick.

  27. Movie day definitely kept me entertained when I was a kid.

  28. Erica Flores says:

    As mothers we all too often worry about our family staying well and forget that we need to take care of ourselves first..

  29. laurie nykaza says:

    Great ideas good to post on Fridge when you are sick!!!

  30. Barbara Montag says:

    These Ideas are helpful for when my grand kids are here – thanks for the post.

  31. Wash and sanitize hands regularly is very importand being as the flu has been so bad this year.

  32. These are great tips. I like the Hang up your cape. So true. I have been lucky that if I have been sick my sister or mom are great about helping out. I think the asking another mom to have your kids over is great. A couple hours break can really help out.

  33. Cassandra Eastman says:

    Such great ideas, this has definitely been a bad winter for getting sick so i’m glad I found your post! Thanks!

  34. Terry Maigi says:

    Love these ideas! It is so hard taking care of little ones when you’re not feeling good! And we have had an awful winter!!! Thanks for the post!

  35. keely hostetter says:

    Movies for the kids is what I usually have to do and my husband pitches in. I don’t like the aftermath of sickness. My dishes and laundry just pile up while I’m down.

  36. These are some great ideas! Although I must say, I don’t know if I would purify my house’s air. If the kid never comes into contact with germs at home, how will their body fight off germs at school?

  37. What great ideas!

  38. Catherine Shaw says:

    My heart goes out to all the mommies of the world. It’s hard to be nurturing when you yourself are ill and need some nurturing!

  39. I recently had the flu, but thank heavens my husband was there to help or I would’ve had to call in family reinforcements!!! I’m going to check out that air purifier you mentioned!! I had no idea there was such a thing that could clear the air of 99.97% of nastiness in the air!! That’s awesome!!! Love your blog! So many awesome ideas!!!

  40. This reminds me of my fave video as a kid: Lampchop’s Don’t Wake your mom!

  41. Bailey Dexter says:

    Love the write up, just knowing that I am not alone when there is sometimes you can’t be super mom.

  42. Interesting tips to pass along to the moms I know

  43. Great suggestions I will share with my neighbor mom!

  44. Blueberies are high in vitamin C and manganese.

  45. I really like the idea of having a indoor picnic. It sounds like a fun easy thing to keep the kids busy.

  46. I don’t have children (though not from lack of trying), but my health issues would make it very difficult to keep up little ones. I have the highest praise for mothers.


  1. […] more about Fellowes’ four-step process to remove cold and flu germs in your house and tips for entertaining the kids when mom is sick. […]

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