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Cheering Up A Sick Preschooler (Plus a $100 Giveaway)

Does this look like a happy baby to you?

Forced to Play

Of course not. She was sick.

She didn't go to day care that day because she had a fever.

Nonetheless, we tried to make her happy.

What do we do when Grace is home sick?

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and Similasan. We nap. sleeping We cuddle. We watch tv, play dolls, color, or whatever she wants to do. If all she feels like is lying on the couch and watching television, then that's what we do. It's about her getting better, not about my having fun. That said, I do have a repertoire of things I can do to make her day a little brighter.

Cheering Up A Sick Preschooler

  1. Serve special foods. If she's up to eating, offer her special foods like ice cream, frozen yogurt, and Jello. I encourage Grace to drink ginger ale or juice when she's feeling sick. Fluids are fluids, and her body needs the extra calories to fuel its immune system.
  2. Offer fun foods. Cut toast into a fun shape with a cookie cutter. Put a face on it. Put snacks into decorated muffin cups. Try to think of things that will bring a smile to your preschooler's face.
  3. Cuddle. Spend lots of time cuddling. Preschoolers need gentle touch as much now as they did a year or two ago, so give them lots of hugs and kisses and hold them. It will make them feel better, unless they want to be left alone (and then do that instead!).
  4. Have a movie marathon. When Grace is home sick, I let her choose the movies. All princesses all day? No problem. Strawberry Shortcake on repeat? Can do. Whatever she wants, we watch.
  5. Read. I don't know a single preschooler who doesn't love to be read to. Grace would cuddle up on my lap and listen to book after book after book if I'd let her. When she's sick, I do. Like with the movies, I let her pick the books, and I make sure we have a great big stack so that we don't have to get up in the middle of reading.
  6. Play computer games. If she's feeling up to it, I'll let Grace play video games on PBS.org or another educational website. If she wants to, I don't usually put a limit on the games. She needs to rest, after all, and sitting in front of my laptop is as fine a means of rest as any other.
  7. Listen. Above all, listen to your preschooler. If she says she just wants to lie down, let her. If she ways she wants to play or read or do something, follow her lead. Don't force her to play just because she's home for the day; she's home is to get better.

Similisan via BlogHer sponsored this post.

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Share Your Story – $100 Gift Card Giveaway

BlogHer is giving away a $100 Visa gift card to one lucky Feels Like Home reader. (US residents only, must be 18 or older to enter. Official rules.) To enter: Leave a comment telling how you keep your kids upbeat when they're home sick. For a second entry: (Choose only one.)

  • Tweet about this post with a link to it (and put your tweet URL in a separate comment below)
  • Blog about this post with a link to it (and put your blog post URL in a separate comment below)
  • Read the official rules for alternate form of entry.

Good luck! I'll use Random.org to choose a winner sometime after 11:59 pm on November 18, 2010. The winner is Samantha. Congratulations!

You can enter other $100 giveaways at the BlogHer.com exclusive offers page.

© 2010 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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114 thoughts on “Cheering Up A Sick Preschooler (Plus a $100 Giveaway)”

  1. We watch lots of Disney movies and major cuddling when my Grace is sick. She love Cinderella and Enchanted. Those movies plus lots of cuddling helps to cure our colds. 🙂 Thanks for the chance. to win.

  2. They get to watch whatever DVD they’d like and stay in their PJs all day.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

  3. My kids are NOT very calm and cuddly when they are sick. If anything, they want to play more because I am constantly telling them to rest! I do insist on time in bed resting where I will bring in the little tv or a small snack to read with. With the babies, I will often do my regular chores with them strapped to me so they get some Mommy time, but I’m not stuck on the couch all day with sickies.

  4. When my kids are sick, I do what my mom used to do for us. We make special beds on the couch, let them watch cartoons or their favorite movie, eat cold foods and drink Sprite. Basically cuddle on the couch until they feel better! They love the attention and get the rest they need!

  5. Whenever my daughter is sick, she wants MAMA…and so, she gets my attention! I cook her chicken and rice soup, give her crackers and juice and popsicles! We color, play board games, play on the wii or ps2, or watch movies and snuggle. When a fever or headache is causing issues…we use the MAGIC wash cloth…which basically is a decorative wash cloth that I put cool water on and place on her forehead…
    thanks
    bleatham*at*gmail.com

  6. I absolutely hate to see my little girl sick. She has been through a lot in her short two years. She was in the hospital for one week at a month old and another week at 3 months. Then to top it off she has to have routine blood tests, yada yada yada….. So when she gets a minor cold, I try to baby her as much as possible. I pull out the sofa bed and we stay there all day cuddling, reading, playing etc….. She is such a trooper, she doesn’t complain or cry, she just clings to my shorts and won’t let me out of her sight. That is usually how I can tell she feels bad. Because of her medications, she feels wobbly and unsteady sometimes. I can see her reaching out for me – I hug her in the biggest hug possible and reassure her “Mommy is here!” I just wish I had the miracle cure for her when she is sick! But, I give her the next best think – LOVE

  7. As part of keeping my house clutter-free, I keep a few bins of toys/books in a basement closet. When my kids are sick, I pull out a bucket, and it’s like they haven’t seen the toys before! They love it, and as long as they’re able to play, it keeps them “resting,” at least somewhat still, and I’m not only resorting to TV. I do let them watch extra TV on sick days though.

  8. My daughter is grown, but now when my grandson gets sick or has to come home from school he comes to my house. When he feels that bad we usually pile up in my bed (with the dogs of course) and watch cartoons until he goes to sleep.

  9. When my kids are sick I indulge them. They get whatever they want to eat or drink. They get propped up in my bed with a pile of pillows. They get to control all the electronics. We movie marathon. I rub backs and massage feet and kiss foreheads.

  10. Some of the best advice we got when my youngest had her tonsils out was to get her special cups and straws to encourage her to drink. So now when someone gets sick, we use special glasses for drinks.

  11. We just relax, they take warm bubble baths, nap, drink gingerale or 7-Up, make forts, watch movies and read lots of books.
    Kelsey
    micahandkelsey1(at)cox(dot)net

  12. Movies. It’s all about watching movies, bundled up on the couch, with drinks. And, my kids LOVE when I give them “cough candies” the cough drops are a big hit!

  13. I think just being there and cuddinng and offering comfort is the best way to keep an upbeat attitude.

    Thank you!

  14. Babies like their backs rubbed, I found this always nice when they wake up in the middle of the night or even when sick

    couponinggirl at gmail dot com

  15. i always remember letting my daugher watch whatever movies she wanted to – Plus when she was sick, I would always stay home from work to take care of her

  16. I spoil my son with all his favorite foods since he loses his appetite when he is ill. We then spend the day watching his favorite cartoons.

  17. When my son is sick he gets nice baths, back rubs, cuddle time, his favorite tv show on demand, the same puzzle 10 times in a row, and to sum it all up…whatever he wants! Being an only child must be nice! I hope your little one is feeling better! 🙂

  18. I keep my 4 year old upbeat when she’s sick by just letting her relax, watch her favorite TV shows so she’s just resting on the couch, eating foods that won’t make her sick and are gentle on her stomach, and of course give her lots of extra TLC.

  19. I let our little guy pick out what ever he wants to eat and we do a ‘picnic’ in front of the tv. That is a sticky only ‘thing’.

  20. When my lil’ ones are sick they get a lot of lovin’. Popsicles, ice cream, warm wash cloths on their foreheads. I always make them a special “pallet” on the couch and we watch movies and read books. This pallet I make they love the most for some reason. I just get out all the comfy blankets and throws and pillows and make a little comfy spot for them. Fun giveaway – thank you for the chance to win! 🙂
    tyson 2468 at charter dot net

  21. When my little one is sick, I just cuddle her, let her choose activities that seem like fun, and pretty much whatever else that would help make for the best day possible!

  22. My boys liked to lay in my arms watching tv and me stroking their hair…they could do this all day and night long.

    prpldy (at) comcast dot net

  23. When my kids were younger and not feeling so hot, I would always bundle them up on the couch with juice, chicken noodle soup and 7up. Plus we would buy them a special magazine or puzzle book. When they would get sick, that would always be the first thing they asked for!

  24. When my daughter had a sore throat I gave her a popsicles to soothe the soreness. Now she thinks that anytime she is sick, she gets to have a popsicle. When she had a stomach ache a few months ago, she came to me asking for a popsicle to make it feel better. I had to tell her that popsicles don’t help tummyaches, only sore throats.

  25. I’m a softy- when my kids are home sick- they get to watch whatever they want on tv and they get to have whatever they want for lunch and snack and i even let them sleep in my bedroom with me..it always makes them feel better.
    tcogbill at live dot com

  26. no kids of my own, but my mom would let me watch a movie or listen to a cd or stories on tape like Adventures in Odyssey.

  27. I tell silly stories and give them silly food and make sure I have the house quiet and cool. I let them decide what they feel like doing or not doing and give them free run of the TV.

  28. Awww…poor baby. 🙁

    Mine are almost impossible to keep “upbeat” when they feel sick, but…we usually watch lots of movies. They don’t often get nearly so much screen time, so it’s “special” – and it helps keep them still and restful (and stationery, which is important with very little ones if their tummies are upset!).

  29. I don’t have kids, but I have babysat when my regulars are sick and I lay a blanket out on the floor, pile all the pillows and blankets I can find on top of it and create a fort. Plug in the laptop, grab some DVDs, sprite, trash can and enjoy the darkness in the fort. It makes it really easy for them to get to sleep.

  30. When my munchkin is sick she gets spoiled – sleeps in bed with me if she wants, or we’ll sleep on the floor of her room if she wants us near her. Popsicles or ice cream always help get a grin, and she’d prefer Mac & Cheese over Chicken Noodle soup – anyday! She does get cabin fever so we try to find a park that no one else is playing at, or even just run around the yard for a little bit to get the squirmy’s out. And, as you said, lots of cuddling with any movie she wants. Luckily – she’s not sick very often.

  31. My girls were both sick last week and they got plenty of orange gatorade, green jello, cinnamon sugar toast, homemade chicken noodle soup and homemade rice pudding. We watched a LOT of movies on Netflix (streaming) and did a lot of Charlie Brown puzzles (their favorite).

    elderberry44 AT yahoo.com

  32. Well, my kids don’t just stay home when they’re sick, since we homeschool, but I do let them play hooky when there’s illness. I give them lots of books and movies, and maybe just a little bit too much extra love. My Jonah doesn’t really like to be cuddled when he’s sick, but the others do!

  33. I’d usually let me daughter nap in my bed when she was sick if she wanted to. It was not something that I usually allow so it was special for her.

  34. When my oldest son was sick one time he didn’t want to do anything so we went to walmart and bought him a movie and let him pick it out. The movie was The Iron Giant and we took it home and watched it and I thought he was going to lay down to go to sleep and he asked if he could watch it again. So we both sat back down on the couch and watched it again and he snuggled up next to me and dozed off that time. We still have that movie and now my 5yr old son loves to watch it just like my now 14 yr did when he was that age. Thanks!

  35. I like to set up my daughter up in my bed with her pillow and blanket and her favorite stuffed animals. I let her watch her favorite movies or TV shows. I also bring her soup and juice and other comforting foods on a tray and let her eat in bed. I try to make it as comfortable as possible for her.

  36. When my daughter isn’t feeling well I let her lay in my bed so that she can watch TV. I bring her ginger ale or soup to keep her hydrated. Most of the time she just sleeps.

  37. When my daughter isn’t feeling well I let her lay in my bed so that she can watch TV. I bring her ginger ale or soup to keep her hydrated. Most of the time she just sleeps.

  38. Luckily we have not had to deal with a sick little one yet(knock on wood), my little girl is 6 months so I am sure it is coming soon enough. I have gotten some great advice from the other commenters though!

  39. I boys are all grown-up, but when my grand-daughters are sick they stay with me {grandma}. I read to them and watch their favorite movies. I make their favorite flavor of Jell-O and we make it disappear. That’s what we call it when they have tummy aches and don’t want to eat. Lots of LOVE and CUDDLING!!! I’m lucky to be a stay at home grandma.

  40. We watch favorite tv shows and read a lot. She also really loves to play board games (she’s three so this is pretty much rolling dice and moving pieces around, sometimes she moves the right number of spaces!). She has an ice pack shaped like a bunny that she loves if she has a fever too.

  41. We don’t have children yet, but we enjoy homemade chicken corn soup and lots of rest if possible when we’re under the weather!

    ~eunice b
    tigergal01 @gmail .com

  42. We snuggle our son up and watch tv with him or read. whatever he wants to do and lots of juice and whatever else he wants to drink/

  43. When my kids are sick I like to cuddle up on couch and watch some Cinderella. Sometimes just them layed down and comfortable is all you can do give them tlc like only Mom gives. Chilled out days when kids are sick

  44. The only kid I have is my hubby! LOL When he is sick, I just try to keep him as comfy as possible and attend to his needs as much as I can so that he can just rest and get better. Its one of the few times that I will stay in the room with him while he watches shows on TV that I hate. That always cheers him up. LOL

  45. I think it takes an extra helping of patience for momma, and for child….just about anything they want. And lots of love and time and attention!

  46. I think it takes an extra helping of patience for momma, and for child….just about anything they want. And lots of love and time and attention!

  47. Movies – finding nemo, Toy Story, Up, Monsters Inc etc.
    They keep their mind off the tummy aches, the fever and the pains

    bluegirl1423 at gmail dot com

  48. A warm bath will bring down a fever (my preference over pill). Isolation so no one else gets sick. Plenty of sleep and lots of liquids(in any form no caffeine(check your pedilite bottle)). After that and feeling better it good old dvds.

  49. We watch lots of movies or cartoons. They can also drink Gatorade or Vernor’s like it’s going out of style – I don’t want a dehydrated kid!

  50. i like to rent a special movie for my kids and will usually get them a cool bendy straw to encourage more fluids. we always let them make camp on the couch too 🙂

    thanks for the chance to win!

  51. Run, Hide, Cry! 🙂 Seems like nothing really helps when our quadruplet boys are all sick at once. You always get through it though, just hang in there!

    bradley.g.murray(at)gmail(dot)com

  52. I don’t have kids, but when I was young I recall lots of chicken noodle soup and 7UP. And mom would read to me (or I’d read myself when I was old enough). When I was on the upswing I’d get my fave grilled cheese and ice cream (no dairy while I was sick) – so I was well pretty quickly 🙂

  53. My daughter gets to do things we don’t normally do: she can play games on my phone, watch movies on the computer (Thanks Netflix streaming) and of course unlimited cuddling!

  54. My kids are usually so happy to miss a day of school that they don’t get grumpy about being sick. I do cater to them by fixing snacks that are special. They seem to get comfort from watching movies with me or being read to out loud.

  55. Definitely get them nice and comfy on the couch with books or their favorite movie. Bring them soup and crackers and some pedialyte…and some sweets too unless their stomach is upset.

  56. My son has severe asthma, so sick days have become a routine of their own. First things first: Let him phone Grandma. Even if she can’t come over, he feels better telling her he’s home sick. I fix a “bed” on the couch with blankets and pillows, and help him get as comfortable as possible. Usually he wants just water, but I’ll also give him Diet 7Up or Sprite. I give him food to graze on rather than big meals, as he can sometimes have trouble with his stomach. He loves movies, so we keep plenty handy to help pass the time.

  57. Awww lol what a cutie! Being sick is horrible, and it sucks to see the little ones get sick. I usually keep them busy with games, cartoons, eating soup and drinking plenty of liquids.

  58. Sick days means lying on the couch with their favorite blanket and watch movies. I make sure there is a drink on the coffee table or some hot soup

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