We’ve all heard the stories – as soon as toddlers start nursery, they’re unwell ALL THE TIME. While nursery doesn’t seem to have affected Isla too badly, the changes in weather we’ve had over the last few months have meant that we’ve had a poorly toddler quite a few times. It’s never anything worse than a cold, but the thing with colds is that they can really make you feel like shit for a prolonged period of time. Of course, the best thing to do is rest, rest, rest. But how do you get your poorly toddler to rest when all she wants to do is play, play, play, despite being a tearful, exhausted mess? I’ve put together our four top activities that help keep your unwell child entertained while also allowing them to rest – win-win!
1. Breakfast in Bed
Or any meal or snack, really. The thing with unwell children is that they often don’t want to eat. The one meal Isla always looks forward to, however, is breakfast. I make sure I go all out with it so that she has at least one really nutritious dish to help her recover! We especially like chocolate porridge with pomegranate, plus extra pumpkin seeds and granola for me! By serving it on a breakfast tray, your toddler can stay in bed or on the sofa without making too much mess. As an additional bonus, it gives eating a picnic-style feel, which makes it more fun and might just encourage your poorly toddler to actually eat.
Like most toddlers, my kid is fascinated by Playdoh. It’s not wildly expensive and you can spend very large chunks of time entertaining your poorly toddler by making shapes in Playdoh moulds. We’ve been using this kit, which is nice and small and therefor fits perfectly on the breakfast tray mentioned above. She doesn’t even need to move off the sofa – perfect!
3. Books, books, books
We’ve been reading a tonne of books this week. First, we started with the story books. When she got bored of those, we moved on to the sensory baby books, which are great because they’re a bit more interactive. Then we read more story books. Then we started looking through my cookbooks, because they have nice pictures. When I felt like I just couldn’t read another line, we listened to an audiobook. You get the picture. Lots of books, all stacked up beside the sofa.
4. Choose and watch a film together
I know TV is a touchy subject among parents, but we’re not too strict. We don’t usually watch TV on work days and we limit her TV time at weekends, but we do really enjoy watching a family film together. When she’s ill and we’ve exhausted all our other options, I don’t see anything wrong with watching a Disney classic (hint: the older ones are usually a lot shorter – around 70 minutes!). For me, the key is to watch it together. We choose the film together, and then we sit and watch it together. I don’t park her in front of the TV while I do something else. If I feel like she’s losing interest, I just turn it off. For us, that means watching a film is a lovely experience that we can enjoy as a family!
So there we have it – my top four tips to entertaining a poorly toddler. Do you have any more suggestions? If so, leave them in the comments before so we can try them!