This week we have a house full of sick kids (and one sick momma). Because of sore throats and stuffy heads, quiet is a must. But keeping a 4, 8, and 10-year-old relatively still and quiet is a challenge, especially when Mom isn’t feeling well too. So I came up with the Quiet Box.
The idea here is much like a telephone box – something to keep kids busy. But for a quiet box, the focus needs to be on activities that will keep the kids quiet, entertained, and relatively still. Here are my suggestions:
#1. DVDs – put in a couple of DVDs that the kids haven’t ever seen or haven’t watched in a long time. Rotate these out regularly so that kids don’t know what to expect.
#2. Markers, Crayons, Paper, & Crafts – Here the trick is to keep things that don’t make a mess (no sick Mom wants to clean up glitter and glue). Focus on things they can draw with. Stickers are great here too. You can often pick up foam shapes (we got eggs and butterflies for spring) and stickers at Target’s dollar spot or another dollar store. I keep these stocked up in various places for keeping kids busy.
#3. Books – Add in age-appropriate books or books that older children can read to younger children to keep everyone quiet and behaving nicely together. My kids love to c0-read (all sit together reading their own books). Like #1 rotate these regularly.
#4. Stuffed Animals or Lovies – These can be picked up at dollar stores or at the end of a holiday (my kids don’t seem to care if the animal they get in September has Easter bunny ears). Also think about soft towels or blankets that are new to the kids. This gives them something new to snuggle and can be washed or thrown out (depending on how sick people are) when the kids are finished.
#5. Play-Doh – I pick up packs of Play-Doh and accessories when they are on sale and break the packs up to be gifts, favors for visiting kids, or to put into a quiet box or telephone box. My kids do Play-doh on the hard floor at our front door. We throw everything (including the new items they get from the quiet box) into a large plastic file box to store. We also let the Play-doh dry out and then just vacuum it up.
What do you use to entertain your kids when they (and you are sick)? Share your ideas in the comments or on Submit Your Tip!