Sick day resource: free printables online

Thanks to Pediacare for sponsoring this post.

My kids have an odd quality: they don’t like to watch movies. It must be because their family life is so incredibly fulfilling that an onscreen fantasy world is simply boring by comparison. (That’s sarcasm.) Or they’re just weird. Either way, it makes sick days really challenging.

Keeping kids busy, but in a relaxed state, is hard. But since the Internet is a wonderland of free printable busy-making activities, I thought I’d put together a list for you here, divided by age and abilities. Come back when you’ve got a sick kid to entertain.

Ages 2-3 – “Mommy or Daddy do-it” printables

If you’ve got yarn and sandpaper in your house already, you’re in luck. But if you find that many of the fantastic busy bags for preschoolers you see on Pinterest are not feasible without a trip to the store for supplies, I’ve dug up a few resources that require only a printer, scissors, glue and your willingness to make silly voices.

Printables for Sick Days with kiddos

  • Coil-up snake finger puppets from Mr. Printables
  • Cut-out shadow puppets from Handmade Charlotte to play with in a dark closet with a flashlight.
  • DIY dinosaur scene from Made by Joel (and then show your child the music video in which these characters star.)

Ages 4-5 – Coloring and activity sheets

I loved hearing from Becky at This Fine Day that when she invited her kids to request a favorite character (such as Strawberry Shortcake) for a print-out coloring activity, they requested Malcolm X. So keep in mind, you can search for and find any beloved popular character (or revolutionary American history maker) as your canvas. Just search name + coloring page.

  • Print a mini-book for coloring at TwistyNoodle.com. Use keywords to search their library and make a custom book, including personalized captions for printing.
  • Make a book all about Me! Early readers take so much pride in the first letter of their first name. Print off a bunch of letter “X” pages for Xavier.
  • Grab a monster coloring page from Kids Activities Blog.

Ages 6-7 – Simple DIY projects for kids

Printable donuts

  • Multi-colored donuts from Oh Happy Day can be used for playing “bakery” or as tiles for playing a memory game
  • Little kitty cats from tektonten blog that will scurry across the table when you blow on them.
  • A party of robot sketches on this adorable coloring page from Dibbles and Dabbles will keep you busy for a while. (Don’t miss her blank faces coloring page, too.)
  • Make (or print) a target for hitting paper airplanes (or wadded up balls of paper) to earn points.

We hope you find plenty of fun things to do with paper, and that your printer doesn’t run out of ink before everyone is healthy again!

List of printable activities for kids sick at home. Preschool through age 7.This sanity-saving list of links is sponsored by Pediacare, makers of Children’s Cough and Congestion for children 4-11.

Watch helpful videos about children’s fevers and illnesses on their YouTube channel.

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.