Thursday, April 19, 2012

Life's A Happy Song? Strategies for Sick and Rainy Days

Just needed a little Muppet pick me up this morning.  From The Muppets.

Woke up to a foggy day outside, and still no let up on the chicken pox for The Peanut.  Our house is a germy pit of despair for a wee girlie who just wants to go back to school. 

So we continue to muddle forward slowly, hoping that they will begin to dry up at some point in the near future. Being a parent with a sick and stir crazy child at home can be tedious and exhausting for everyone, especially mom.  (I am so there this morning, let me tell you.)

I've been sitting here wracking my brain for things to do with the sickly wee one that don't involve a lot of energy expenditure, and here's what I've come up with for us for the next few days:

-- Coloring:  We always have a stash of coloring books, crayons and colored pencils on hand because you never know when a sick day/snow day/torrential rain in the summer day will show up.  Diversionary tactics are my friend.

-- Reading:  The Peanut has already read 4 books in the last 4 days.  Okay, sure...two of them were Goosebumps books, but the other two were the first two books in the Sisters Grimm series which we are both absolutely loving right now.  (Highly recommend the Sisters Grimm for the kids or grandkids in your life!)

-- Puzzles:  We have decided to work on a jigsaw puzzle today that has 1000 pieces in it while we watch some Harry Potter movies.  At least, that's the pronouncement from her sickly highness for the moment -- it changes frequently so who knows where we'll be by day's end.  Jigsaw puzzles are fairly inexpensive and make for a great diversion that you can work on together or individually if one of you needs a time out from the other person.  If you know what I mean.

-- Movies:  We've been watching a lot of them, trying to keep The Peanut resting instead of running around the house.  Today, we're planning a bit of a Harry Potter-a-thon.  She's been enjoying coloring while watching a movie, and I've enjoyed being able to use the movies as a sort of carrot to get her to slog through the missed school work in between what we watch -- it's worked really well, with minimal fuss, and I recommend it for longer bouts of illness.

-- Craft projects:  We have a couple of doll-sized t-shirts we have yet to decorate from a Christmas present she got last year.  I may be whipping out the needle and thread, some ribbon and assorted buttons, and the glue gun later today if I need a big time diversionary tactic.  If you have a younger girl, this makes for a great project kit to keep around for times like this - the initial book kit from American girl on Doll Tees has some great ideas, good pictures to help your child visualize what she wants and likes, and information on what will be needed to make the shirt designs, along with 3 doll-sized t-shirts. Any craft store in your area should have the things you need, along with some cheaper knock-off shirts and pants that can also be used for future craft projects for your child.  We put a whole kit of this sort of thing together for The Peanut one year for Christmas and we are still playing and creating with it.  We have another American Girl book on button crafts that might come into play as well this week -- they have a whole line of books on crafty things to do with household items or craft store finds that can come in very, very handy for rainy day fun.  I keep our craft closet stocked with several items that we can pull out and do things with for just such an occasion -- thank you Mrs. Sharp's Traditions for the idea!  We also have a couple of cheaper balsa wood models to put together and paint and some smaller plaster of Paris statues to paint as well -- I pick these up out of the clearance bin at the craft store when I see them and stash them away for rainy days.  Having a craft closet comes in really, really handy.

But there have to be lots more ideas of things to do, so I'm open to suggestions.  What do you do at your house when a longer illness or a horrid bout of "can't go outside" weather strikes?  Do tell!

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