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9 amazing Activities for kids after surgery and more

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

Your child is going in for surgery and after surgery, they will then need bed rest for a couple of weeks. During this time they would also need to sit as still as possible so that their cuts can heal. You would like to be prepared by having plenty of activities to keep them busy during this time.

But before we get into the different types of activities for kids after their surgery. You need to make sure that your child is properly prepared for the surgery itself. 

This is especially true if it is their first time going into a hospital and their first going for surgery. No matter how old they are, as they may be feeling nervous and scared of the unknown. You will need to let them know what to expect from the time they arrive at the hospital. This will be before the surgery, during and after surgery.

First, you will need to talk to the surgeon and the other doctors beforehand. Make sure that you understand everything yourself. Some things to ask are:

  • Ask them everything that there is to know about the procedure and the recovery time. 
  • Make sure that you understand what medication your child will be taking,
  • What they will  be allowed to eat and drink after the surgery
  • What activities will they be able to do after surgery
  • Ask if they will need physiotherapy or bed rest

Then talk to your child as calmly and as relaxed as possible because if you are nervous, they will be too. Explain the reasons to them for the surgery in a way that they would understand. Help them to understand what to expect after the surgery. With things like how the anesthetics will make them feel. 

Talk to them about the pain that they will feel but reassure them that they will receive medicine to help ease it. The more open you are about it and the more they understand the better their recovery will go.

Don’t forget to tell them that you will be with them every step of the way. Although you can’t actually be in the surgical theater you will be there when they wake up to help and comfort them. 

Now to get back to the activities for kids after surgery. Keep in mind that immediately after a kid has had surgery, they are usually in a lot of pain. They are also still groggy and sleepy from the anesthetics. The chances of them actually doing any activities the first day are slim to none.  So instead of giving them any activities on the day of the procedure to do, it would be a better option to give a care package for a child after surgery

In this care package or gift basket. You can have items that are comforting to them or something that will make them smile. Items like their favorite snacks if they are allowed to eat them or a funny item you know will make them laugh.

You can choose to make up your own gift basket. With lots of goodies that you think might cheer them up and help them feel better. Or you could have a look at a gift basket for your sick child for some great ideas that will help.

Once they are feeling a little better you can then offer them some activities that will help keep them busy. These ideas are perfect for while in the hospital or for when they get home.

Ideas for young kids

After surgery kids often need to be as still and as quiet as possible so that they can give their bodies a chance to heal. But for young kids hours could feel like days and boredom sets in quickly. Here are some ideas that will help pass the time:

Board games

Board games are perfect for kids after surgery. As they are not only fun to play but they also keep their minds occupied for some time. Here is a list of some of the classics:

  • Scrabble junior
  • Clue
  • Sorry
  • Chinese Checkers
  • Chutes and Ladders
  • The Game of Life
  • Chess
  • Monopoly
  • Candy Land
  • Battleship

Card games

Card games are great to play while being stuck in bed after surgery. They do not take up much space or need much movement to play. Some game ideas are:

  • Go Fish
  • Snap
  • Memory
  • Old Maid
  • War
  • Crazy Eights
  • Beggar My Neighbor

Puzzles

If your child enjoys building jigsaw puzzles. There are many on the market to choose from that will suit their age range. If they are bedridden, you will need to ensure that they have a hard surface to build it on like a wooden food tray.

If you are looking for something more challenging. There are other types of puzzles that are usually found in many of the activity books.

Activity books

Most kids love solving puzzles. As once they have completed them correctly it gives them a sense of accomplishment. Puzzles are a great but fun activity that helps stimulate their brains.

Depending on your child’s age you can solve them together or leave them to solve them on their own.

Some of the common types of puzzles that you will find in an activity book are:

  • Word searches
  • Crossword puzzles
  • Connect the dots
  • Find the differences
  • Word scrambles
  • Mazes
  • Sudoku for kids
  • Counting puzzles
  • Brain Teasers
  • Match the objects
  • Deciphering codes
  • Solve the riddles

Coloring books

Another thing that kids love to do is color pictures. This is where coloring books come in handy and there are many different pictures in a book. Make sure that you choose the type and theme of the coloring book that will keep your child’s interest.

Another option is to print off free printable coloring pages from the internet. This way you can choose all the pictures that you know they will love.

Sticker books and stickers

Sticker books and stickers are another great way to keep kids entertained after surgery. Many sticker books are also considered to be one of the easiest types of activity books for children and are loved by all ages. 

Although many adults don’t think that there is much point to a sticker book and to them it is a boring activity. But to a child, they love sticker books as they find them so much fun to play with. There are many things about sticker books that fascinate them from the bright and many different colors, shapes, the different sizes, the cushioned stickers to the scratch and smell stickers. Even the different types of books themselves and the stories that they tell all grab the attention of a child.

Sticker books are a wonderful teaching resource for children. Some teach them about animals, different parts of the body, getting dressed and many other important things. Others teach them to be creative through fantasy stories while helping them to develop important fine motor and sensory skills.

Non-messy arts and crafts

Arts and crafts are something many children love to do and there are many benefits to them that help in their development. Some are:

  • It helps improve their hand-eye coordination
  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Improves memory
  • Promotes creativity and innovation
  • Helps build self-esteem and confidence
  • Encourages decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Teaches them to be patient
  • Socialization skills
  • Offers relaxation

So if your kids love to be creative and find arts and crafts to be a lot of fun for them. There are many that they can do that is non-messy and are perfect while being in bed. 

Some ideas are:

  • Friendship bracelets and necklaces
  • Cars and airplanes from different colored paper and other origami art
  • Scrapbooking and collages from pieces of scrap paper
  • Drawing and coloring pictures with crayons
  • String art
  • Using cardboard boxes or empty toilet rolls to make a variety of items like puppets

Reading books

Reading books are always the favorite option for most children especially if they need to lay still and be quiet. If your child is still young, this is the perfect time to read some of their favorite stories or new ones to them. Make reading fun and interesting for them by imitating the characters in the book and involve them by asking their thoughts on the story and your acting skills.

Legos and activity sets

Legos and activity sets make great gifts for a kid after surgery. Because what kid doesn’t love building and constructing things? Especially, if they are unable to spend their time running around and being active like they usually do. These sets will help keep them busy for many hours.

Legos and activity sets are seen as toys to play with by many kids and they actually are. But they also have similar, if not the same benefits as arts and crafts. So it is a win for both parents and kids.

If you are a grandparent who will be taking care of your grandchild after surgery at home. And you find yourself looking for some things to do with a bedridden child at least for a couple of days. Then these grandparent-grandchild activity set ideas will come in oh so handy.

Ideas for older kids

Although many of the activities mentioned above could also work for older kids. It would all depend on the type of things that they enjoy doing. The type of board games, arts and crafts, books and even activity books would need to be taken to a more advanced level to be age-appropriate for older children.

Some other things that tweens and teenager could do that they would enjoy are:

  • Play games and read books on their iPad, laptop or tablet
  • Listen to music
  • Take an online course, for example, learn a new language or skill
  • Watch tv shows and movies
  • For girls – hair, makeup and paint nails
  • Download and read magazines
  • Keep a journal 
  • Learn a new hobby like writing poems, sketching, quilt making or knitting
  • Read comic books
  • Sudoku is a great brain teaser and is popular with all age groups
  • Organize and clean out their phones – messages and contacts
  • Download the many photos from their phones
  • Make a bucket list of things to do once they have recovered

For older kids to perform the above type of activities they will need different items to help make it possible. These items also make great gifts:

  • Earphones
  • Internet connection
  • iTunes gift card
  • Netflix subscription
  • Cosmetic gift basket
  • Journal and sketching accessories

Some other ideas for gifts for a kid after surgery are gifts that will help them feel more comfortable while they are in hospital. These are:

  • Soft and warm pajamas
  • Comfortable slippers
  • A warm and soft blanket
  • Soft and fluffy teddy bears
  • Comfortable pillows

Another idea for you to think about is if you have other kids, they can be a big help with planning and organizing activities for their sibling after surgery. With their input, they can even help create a completely new activity for them to do. These activities can be from their already favorite one, just with something extra. If the surgery has a long recovery time other siblings can help entertain them when you need a break.

Finding the best type of activities for kids after surgery. You should first consider the age of your child. Then look at the type of activities that they enjoyed doing before the surgery. These are the best to start with like reading, playing board games, arts and crafts. Or maybe they preferred more of a challenge and activity books with brain teaser puzzles would then be perfect for them.

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