Spring Time Sniffles: Preparing Sick Boxes

by Dawn Adams

The flu season is still in full swing and the spring time sniffles are on the way. For many this will mean a few days or a week in bed. In the beginning we are all happy just to sleep, but as we start to get some of our energy back but are not ready to return to the real world, cabin fever sets in. This is true not just for children but also for adults. My recommendation, compile sick boxes. Sick boxes store unique, quiet activities that are packed well before anyone has a sniffle and are extracted when the cabin fever sets in. Children may even want to assist in putting their own together. A shoebox or large coffee-can should be suitable in size. Fill the box and then store it where the whole family can find it. Below are some ideas for different ages, but be creative and remember if your family is lucky enough to stay healthy to go through the boxes periodically and change its contents.

3-6 Years old - Coloring books with crayons, blunt scissors, juice boxes, McDonald's happy meal prizes that you have previously cleared from their toys, easy to read books, a faux phone, silly putty, Disney or cartoon movies, lollipops

7-21 Deck of cards, hand held video game, stationary and a pen, chapter book, microwave popcorn bag, a brain puzzle (rubic cube etc.), book, box of trivia cards, a comic book, a music CD

Woman - a book you swore you would read but never have time, an aromatherapy candle, herbal teas, $20 that can either be used to order in pizza so that there is no need to cook or to hire a babysitter so that you can rejuvenate yourself

Man - favorite magazine (sports / money), crossword puzzle book, a new computer game

A good addition to anyone's box - hard candies, tissues, a bell (to call for service), coupons for one's favorite meal, show, back massage, etc.

Each box will entertain its recipient, make them feel special, and hopefully the extra pampering can speed them on their way to recovery. To make the boxes extra special you may want to decorate the box themselves with special pictures - a beach, a sunset, a favorite superhero, Barney. Make a collage that will transport the recipient to their favorite places even when they can't crawl out of bed.

Sickness boxes are also a thoughtful way to brighten a friends day. Put a box together and drop it off on their doorstep when they are ill. Nothing will help them get healthy faster than the warm feeling that fills their heart when they open their unexpected gift. You may even be surprised to find that thoughtfulness is cyclical and perhaps next time the box will appear on your doorstep.

Such boxes also make excellent gifts for hospitalized or friends recovering from injuries and the contents will probably last longer than flower and be much more appreciated.

To extend such an idea into the community, consider creating sick boxes for an old age home or the children's ward of your local hospital. You may want to make contact first with such an organization to see if there are any restrictions that you should take into account.

This article was submitted by Dawn Adams, the editor of A Personal Touch.

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