Sick Day Activities for Toddlers: 7 Ways to Entertain

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

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Toddlers are little super humans; they get sick and nothing seems to phase them! They are still running at full steam ahead regardless of that runny nose or fever. At least, this is what I’ve experienced with my own toddler.

On the days when I’m sick, I keep trudging along because I’m a mom! There are no sick days for mamas. However, I would give my right arm for a nap or to have a day to just sit and do nothing when I am sick.

My toddler on the other hand doesn’t even realize he is sick and refuses to take a day to rest.

On the days when I have a sick toddler, I am often searching for ways to help him feel better. But I am also searching for sick day activities that I can do with him.

These activities consist of less physical movements. Sick day activities incorporate rest with fun so that my toddler doesn’t know that he is actually having a day of rest to help him feel better.

Here are seven sick day activities for toddlers! #maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavor

7 Sick Day Activities for Toddlers |

1. Puzzles

A simple activity to involve your toddler in is putting together puzzles. Puzzles do not require much physical movement. Therefore, your toddler won’t be exerting much energy when engaged in puzzle activities. Puzzles provide the unique opportunity for your kiddo to exercise his or her brain rather than the physical exercise.

Age appropriate puzzles for toddlers provide learning opportunities for your toddler as well. These puzzles usually have fun shapes that you can talk to them about while they are putting the pieces where they should go. Toddler puzzles provide grasping opportunities that are easy to manipulate and place in the correct spaces.

Some toddlers might enjoy putting puzzles together for an extended period of time while other toddlers might have a shorter attention span. Adjust your toddler’s activities based on their lead!

2. Magnets

Refrigerators are pretty neat to use for play and learning activities. You can use magnets on them. You can even use it as an art easel to tape paper to and let your toddler draw on it.

For this particular sick day activity, we can use magnets on the refrigerator to provide entertainment for our sick toddler. My son has a train set that he loves using! He often brings his trains to the refrigerator and sticks the magnet portion of the train to the refrigerator.

Another way to use magnets is to incorporate letter recognition activities by using letter magnets. Have your toddler stick each letter onto the refrigerator and practice the name and sounds of the letters.

In addition, we purchased a STEM magnet set for my son a few months back. He also uses these magnet sticks to put on the refrigerator and stacks the sticks together. It is quite amazing the things he ends up building on our refrigerator!

3. Reading

I probably haven’t said this enough in my other posts (sarcasm intended), but reading is a great activity! Sick day activities that include reading help to expand on your toddler’s language development as well as help to pass the time when your kiddo is sick.

Find books that will keep your toddler’s interest; color books, flap books, engagement books, etc. These types of books will help keep your toddler’s attention longer while resting.

4. Bathtub Painting

When our little one’s have a fever, sometimes the best way to cool them down is with a bath. Incorporate some fun while in the bathtub to make the bath experience last a little longer.

I purchased a beginner’s paint set for my son some time ago and I use it for various activities, such as bathtub painting. Basically, I squirt a bit of paint from each color tube onto the inside of bathtub. Then, I let my toddler have at it and start mixing, squishing, and exploring with the paints.

You can do this while there is no water in the tub. Just put your toddler in the tub with a diaper. When you’re ready, strip them down and wash them off.

You can also do this activity while the bathtub is full of water. The paint will get into the water and make some pretty cool designs. The colors mixing together with the water are great to explore with as well. After you’re finished, let the tub drain and rinse off your toddler with clean water.

7 Sick Day Activities for Toddlers |
Picture by Samantha Flores of

**NOTE: Always supervise your toddler when they are in or around any body of water. The bathtub can become slippery, especially with the paint. Therefore, ensure you are close at all times to keep your toddler safe! Participate in this activity at your own discretion.**

5. A Walk Around the Neighborhood

Weather permitting, take your toddler on a stroll around the neighborhood. I recommend taking him or her in a stroller so that they are not over exerting themselves when they should be resting. A stroller is a comfortable place for them to relax.

While taking your walk, this allows for some fresh air and limits opportunities of going stir crazy. You can expand on this activity by stopping to talk to your toddler about what they see or hear in their neighborhood. Make this a learning opportunity and expand on your toddler’s language development.

6. Indoor Basketball

A small trash can, a box, Tupperware container, really anything can serve as a collection container for some indoor “basketball.” Use the collection container and encourage your toddler to throw some light balls into it!

If you don’t have any light balls, consider some ball pit type of balls. They are colorful, small, light, and easy for your toddler to grasp.

7. Some Snuggles

If your toddler allows it (because they are always so squirmy) extra snuggle time on sick days is always the best! Sometimes, a good, long hug can go a long way to helping your toddler feel better. Letting them know you are there for them and want them to feel better can make all the difference!

Sick Day with a Toddler

It’s always difficult when our children are sick and it is even worse when they can’t communicate what is hurting them. Making them feel better is our number one goal!

What are some of the best sick day activities that you do with your toddler? Which of these activities would you be willing to try?

Check Out More Sick Day Activities

Check out Susie’s roundup list of 15 Sick Day Activities for Toddlers or head over to Birutee’s list of 10 Simple Sick Day Activities for more ideas!

Samantha <3

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7 Sick Day Activities for Toddlers |

About The Author

First time parent to an incredible little boy residing in Northern California. I hold my M.A. in Education with a Specialization in Culturally Responsive Education. My mission is to consistently provide helpful content for other parents to draw from. Parenthood is ever-changing! I look forward to sharing my experiences with you and hope that my posts are insightful.


  1. avatar
    blair villanueva says:

    Kids with illness isn’t fun, and its a struggle. These fun activities are great ideas to keep then occupied.

  2. avatar
    LaTese says:

    These are great idea, that can also be incorporated into regular play days with your toddler.

  3. avatar
    Annita Nikole says:

    Poor babies…I like this post, though. It gives good ideas about how to keep the toddler occupied so that maybe he or she won’t feel SO bad. There are some nice things to keep everyone’s minds busy. Plus, it couldn’t be fun just sitting around taking care of the sick kid.

  4. avatar
    vivirewellness says:

    I remember when our son was a baby and would get sick, it would break our heart. Wish I had this list to comfort him back then.

  5. avatar
    mdaisi says:

    I don’t have any toddlers at the moment, but these are definitely great ways to entertain a todler on a sick day. Great way to bond with your children in general.

  6. avatar
    sn1463 says:

    Aww, it’s never fun when your toddler is sick. These are great ways to keep them occupied!

  7. avatar
    Sanjota Purohit says:

    Aww.. sick kids really makes me sad. They cannot express what exactly happening to them. Can’t see those buttons suffering 🙁 These are great ideas.


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