The "Get Better Box": 5 Ways to Make a Sick Day More Tolerable

Sick days.Sick days.My son woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible stomachache. After several hours, he finally fell back asleep only to wake up again with a severe sore throat and fever. As I wondered what bug he'd picked up, I recalled a notice sent home from his school last week; the form letter said he'd been exposed to strep throat. Boo.

My kid is miserable today. But when we hit that unavoidable in-between time -- when he's feeling better but not well enough to return to school -- I'll need to be ready to make his time home a little more comfortable.

Movies and video games get old. A few years ago I started to keep and old-school "Get Better Box" for sick days (hat tip to Mbutterfuge). Beyond little toys, I've added a few items to that box. The key is to make sure the kids only see these things during sick days. And once they are healthy and back at school, don't forget to clean everything in the Get Better Box!

Here are a few of my favorite (and parent-tested) Get Better Box items to help sick days go a little easier for my kid:

-Pocket/travel games. Keep a few small games in the Get Better Box. These should be games your kids only use when they are under the weather. The games should also be easy to play and move quickly. Some ideas: Spot It, Trouble Fun on the Run and of course, Go Fish.

-Books that you will read aloud. You know those Scholastic Book orders you place with your kid's school? Buy a few that you can hide away in the Get Better Box. Order the books that you know your kid(s) will absolutely love.

-Audiobooks. Sick kids want company. They hate feeling alone, especially when cooped up in bed feeling miserable. But what's a parent to do when you need to get a few things done around the house? Or catch up on emails because you're working from home? Answer: audiobooks. Whether it's a story from a short picture book and lasts on 20 minutes, or a longer chapter book that lasts an hour or more, audiobooks can help bridge that "company" gap. Not only will your child be entertained, he or she will be getting much-needed rest while relaxing and listening to a good story.

-Coupons to play verbal games. Think "I Spy," "Imaginary Hide n' Seek," or math games like "Buzz."

-Crayons/colored pencils and a few coloring books or blank sketchbooks. No explanation needed.

What are your tried and true tips for making sick days more tolerable? And what would you add to a Get Better Box?


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