Bed-Rest Boredom-Buster

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Grace, 6, has uttered the unthinkable, "I want to go back to school."

She's been home sick for four days with a fever and a headache — and no other symptoms. Two trips to the doctor thankfully revealed nothing serious, but the hours of bed rest and what seems like buckets of ibuprofen and acetaminophen haven't helped to relieve her main source of misery — a severe case of boredom.

We've exhausted all the traditional boredom-busters I can think of — books, coloring, board games, movies, puzzles, blanket forts, making homemade popsicles. We've tried all the modern cures I can grasp at — online games with my laptop, digital pictures with my cell phone, printable downloads, phone calls to Grandma, and her LeapPad. Our usual activities — painting, cooking and messy crafts — aren't exactly what the doctor ordered for a bedridden little girl.

So I do what any good mother would do in the situation — I go online. A search of "sick day activities" yields a plethora of promising leads, but few meet our very specific "in bed or lying on the couch" requirement — until I find The Foil Family.

By following the simple directions — pinching and shaping pieces of tin foil — we create little figures. It's easy, not messy, inexpensive, and ripe with possibility.

Suddenly, we are well on our way to beating this near-terminal case of boredom. With bits of ribbon and paper we dress our figures, make them hair, and even fashion accessories for their pets (dogs, horses, and cats.) With masking tape we make shoes and I raid our craft supplies for gold wire (jewelry!) and pom-poms (ear muffs, hats, buttons!)

The fever finally breaks that night and Grace gets her wish to go back to school the next morning.

"Mama, next time I get a fever, can we make more tin-foil people?" she asks as she heads out the door.

"I tell you what," I reply. "I think I'll let you make some even if you don't have a fever."

With that I kiss her forehead — thankfully cool and comfortable to the touch of my lips — and I say a little prayer of gratitude for all the little remedies that make us feel so much better.

What activities help you and your kids get through sick days? Click the comments link below to find and share ideas.

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Bed-Rest Boredom-Buster

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