5 Sensational Play Activities For Sick Babies

There is nothing worse than having sick babies, especially if you’re trying everything to help them get better (if you’re looking for some ways to relieve your baby’s cold, here are 5 ways I’ve come with to combat your baby’s cold). But what do we do if our baby is sick enough to be kept in isolation at home, but well enough that they still want to play and explore and climb all over you every 5 seconds? I have found this to be one of the most challenging things this last season, as Starfish has been battling colds and the flu. Here are 5 play activities for sick babies when you’re at home, unable to leave the house and wish to maintain your sanity!

No-Mess Painting

A friend from Playground introduced this activity to us that she found on Pinterest, and it was the perfect activity for us the do with Starfish indoors. It involved no mess or clean-up, so I didn’t have to wash him, his hands or his clothes afterwards (so he didn’t have to get cold in the clean-up process). I put some blobs of paint on the piece of paper, and then zipped the paper inside a zip lock bag. Starfish was able to smoosh the paint around without getting it all over his hands, and once he was done (there was lots of picking up and scrunching in his fists), I could take the paper out of the zip lock bag to dry.
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Bubble Bath

Always a fun and simple activity, but running a bubble bath for your baby and having a couple of toys inside will keep them warm and entertained at the same time. Have a variety of toys for your little one to play with as well as a non-slip bath mat so they can sit safely in the bath. My favourite bath toys for my boy are the Mini Lolo‘s because they have no hole, reducing the risk of mould (plus he loves them!). 

Books, Nursery Rhymes and Peg Dolls

You can never go wrong with reading picture books or singing songs, but there is something very soothing and relaxing about a calm, adult voice when your baby is sick. Make the most of this time for some extra snuggles, a few choice books and songs. We recently got some gorgeous Little Peggy’s farm animal dolls for Starfish to play with, and he enjoyed playing with these while we read his ‘Noisy Farm’ book. This is also a great way to cement their development such as associating animals with the sounds they make, and recognising that objects can have different shapes and forms (for example, the cow in the ‘Noisy Farm’ book is grey and big, whereas the Peggy doll is thin, with a white and black colour). I’ll be sharing soon some more reasons why we LOVE the Little Peggy’s Dolls, but they’ve been a perfect toy for Starfish while he’s been sick!

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Sticky Wall

An activity I came across on Pinterest as well (LOVE Pinterest!), which I, unfortunately, didn’t have the resources for to put together photos today. BUT I’m looking forward to trying this with Starfish soon. Grab some contact or clear, plastic adhesive and upt it up on the wall with some blutack or the like. Have a variety of objects such as paper, feathers, pom-poms, etc, for your baby to pick up and stick on the contact. This engages your child’s fine motor skills in picking up different objects and placing them on the wall, as well as promoting creativity.

Sensory Play with Cloud Dough

I came across Cloud Dough when the lovely Casey shared with me a few months back her top 5 Sensory Tubs for Little Learners. I was a bit hesitant to try this when Starfish was so little, but today was the perfect opportunity to make it and let him have a play. I mixed 4 cups of plain flour and 1/2 cup of baby oil to make the dough, and then let Starfish have fun exploring it with some plastic measuring spoons. Any of Casey’s sensory tub ideas are awesome for sick bubs to play and learn at home while they recover.

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What is your baby’s favourite activity for when they’re a bit under the weather and stuck at home?


play activities for sick babies

About Fi Morrison

Fi is a mum to her beautiful, 1-year-old baby boy who she affectionately calls Starfish. She started Mumma Morrison as a way to document her life with her son, but also aims to create a supportive and encouraging community for new and prospective mums. She is returning to part-time teaching in July. Fi and her family live in Sydney.


  1. Having a sick baby is no fun for either of you but these activities sound fun sick or not! I looove the sticky wall idea and I’m putting that on my list. I think all four of mine would enjoy that! Thanks for sharing and hope you don’t have to use any of these for a sick day any time soon (just for fun non-sick days😊)!!!

    • I agree – I’d definitely do any of these activities with my boy any day of the week 🙂 I can’t wait to try the sticky wall idea either!

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