Extended hospital stays can be difficult, especially for children. Adding in variety of entertainment to the daily routine can help children stay active and motivated. Try these different activities to keep boredom away while in the hospital!

Use Creativity: A great way to keep kids occupied is to have them work on some arts and crafts. Whether it’s balloon animals, drawing, or painting, art is something that helps take kid’s eyes off the clock. Social media platforms like Pinterest or parent magazines are great resources for finding easy, mess-free craft ideas.

Read: For many kids, reading is an entertaining way to pass the time. Whether it’s reading with them or letting them read a few books on their own, it will surely make for a fun few hours. Stop by your local library to pick up some fun and inspiring reads.

Have a Hospital Party: Kids with a long stay in a hospital room love to have company. Surprise your child with a visit from friends or family! Add some decorations, safe snacks, and fun activities to make the day special.

Dance: We have all seen videos on the internet of patients and nurses dancing to pass the time. Dancing is a way to be happy, relieve stress, and distract the mind from the bad things. Play some of your child’s favorite songs to brighten their day.

PlayGames: Especially in this generation, kids love to play on IPads and video game consoles. Not only is this fun and entertaining, but it could even give them the opportunity to be social with their friends. Or, go a more traditional route and bring some of your family’s favorite board games.

Watch a Movie: Put on your child’s favorite movies or watch something new together for a fun and easy activity to take their mind off their hospital stay. This could also be a way to help them relax and fall asleep.

Go Outside: Although the chances may be slim, ask a doctor if your child can go outside for even a few minutes. Fresh air and nature has a way of bringing relaxation and happiness.

Talk on the Phone: Put a family member or a friend on the phone and let your child just talk. Having a conversation with someone out of the norm is a way to fill boring periods of time. It also gives them the opportunity to connect with their friends or family members.

Find an Exciting Meal: Hospital meals can be dull and unenjoyable. Find a way to make an exciting meal, still following meal guidelines, to make the day that much better. A home cooked meal can help bring comfort and a sense of home.

Treat Them: Whether it is some kind of online shopping activity or a special (approved) treat, having a surprise during a long day will likely peak a bored child’s interest. Sugar-free treats like Handing HOPE’s lollipops are a great way to provide an exciting treat that is not only delicious, but safe to enjoy.

For more tips and information on aspects of cancer that we don’t always talk about, attend one of Handing Hope’s wellness workshops!