How to amuse kids while visiting relatives in hospital

It is a fact of life many children will have to visit a relative who has ended up in hospital.  As we all become older, our parents and grandparents invariably become incapacitated at one point or another and they love nothing more than being visited by the apples of their eyes, our kids.

Here are some ideas on how you can keep kids occupied for those hospital visits without them driving you (or the rest of the patients and staff) up the wall.

1.  Colouring in – the old fashioned colouring in book. My kids love to colour in and it keeps them quiet for a period of time.  The older the child, the more likely that they will be able to engage in this activity for a longer period.  Why not include some plain paper so they can make a card or some art for the patient to keep with them!

2.  Reading – if your kids are avid readers like mine, this is a great way amuse them whilst sitting in the hospital waiting.  If the patient is up to it the kids could also read to them or have the patient read to the kids.

3.  Talk to the patient – I know from personal experience that kids can become overwhelmed when they see a loved one in a hospital bed. Encourage them to talk to the patient and tell them about their day, what they have been doing, where they are going, the list could go on. As long as the patient is well enough, they will love talking to the kids and also hearing what is going on in the outside world.

little boy looking out window sadly

4.  Play a travel game – My kids love games, and travel games are no exception.  As long as the kids can find somewhere to sit, they are usually happy to play their game which will amuse them for a period of time.  Again, if the patient is well enough, why not have the kids engage with them and have them play as well!

5. Technology – As much as I hate to admit it (yes, I am old fashioned!), there is a time and a place for technology, and this is one of them. Provided the device is on silent or the headphones are plugged in, kids are often happy to sit quietly and play on their devices.  It is sometimes a good time to show the patient how they play the game or show them some photos, the patient will probably be pleased for the distraction from what is going on with them.

As hard as it is to deal with having a sick relative, for both you and the kids, spending time preparing for a hospital visit will make the visit much easier and less stressful for everyone involved!

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