Beating the Cancer Blues (Children’s Edition)

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Fighting cancer is hard work and it is perfectly normal for a child to get the blues as they battle against it. Here are some tips on how to help your child or a loved one’s child beat the cancer blues.  Please let me know if you have some suggestions that I didn’t mention.

Going by your local Dollar Tree or favorite dollar store is a great place to start with getting things to occupy the time of your cancer warrior.  They normally have a vast assortment of coloring books, crayons, activity books, sticker books, crafts, dress up clothes, word search books, puzzles, playing cards, and small toys at a low.  A simple puzzle or a coloring book can keep your child occupied while being confined to a bed for a little while.

Your local library is also a great resource.  You can check out books and movies for your child.  Why not borrow a few children’s movies and have a movie night with your child?  If your child is allowed to be around other children, why not invite friends over for a pajama and movie party.

Have a spa day.  Give each other manicures and pedicures.  Rub lotion on each other’s legs and arms.

If your child is in the hospital, ask the nurses if they have an activity cart available.  Most hospitals do and the cart is full of craft supplies and ideas to keep busy.  Each hospital’s cart is different but very fun needless to say.

Often times riding to appointments can be boring and sad, why not try playing car trip bingo?  Before leaving the house, get a piece of paper draw 20 boxes and write or draw  pictures (depending on the age group) of items possibly seen on a car ride in each box.  (For example:  a red car, a stop light, a stop sign, a dump truck, a motorcycle and etc) You can also find loads of free printable car bingo boards online as well. Let your child bring a small crayon or pen to mark off when they see the item on their bingo board.  Use different board items if you are doing bingo with more than one child.  Offer a prize for a BINGO (like a special treat, toy or prize) to make it more exciting.

Let your child express their feelings through painting.  Water colors and finger paints are found at most dollar stores along with poster boards and paper.  Sometimes being creative and painting their emotions helps make them feel a little more in control of what is going on.

Try going camping, even if it is in the backyard.  Often times going outside and seeing nature at its finest helps get the mind occupied on other things.  Most children love seeing squirrels racing up trees and gathering acorns.  Also, looking at animal tracks is a great way to spend time out in nature.

Treasure hunts are always loads of fun especially for children that are in the hospital or have to stay at home and miss out playing with their friends.  Leaving clues to lead them to a treasure that you have hidden causes lots of giggles and smiles. (Having about 5-10 clues like.. “Clue #2 is under what you eat on (plate) and etc) The treasure can be a new book, a small toy, or a coloring book. You can also decorate a box and make it a treasure box and fill it up with things that you know that your child would enjoy.  You can hide the clues for the hunt while your child is resting or  sleeping.

Scavenger hunts are great as well and they work great when you have a few children.  Write or draw on a piece of paper several items (at least 10-15) that the child(ren) needs to find to win/ get the prize. For example:  a cotton ball, a doctor or nurse’s signature, a get well card, and etc.  The prize could be your child(ren)’s favorite ice cream, etc.

How about trying your hands in making home made cookies from scratch.  There are tons of cookie recipes from scratch on the internet to try.  Your child will enjoy mixing and adding ingredients to make their wonderful cookies.

Have your child make cards for relatives and friends.  Most children will enjoy coloring and drawing on construction paper to make cards for grandparents, aunts, uncles and etc. for upcoming holidays or birthdays.

Taking turns playing I-Spy game is also a great way to beat the blues.  You can play this game practically anywhere and everywhere.

Having a Super Hero Day is another way to kick the blues to the curb.  Have the family all dress up as super heroes and let them describe their super hero ability.  When you serve a meal that day, call it “Super Hero food” and decorate the plate as a super hero and use super hero words.  (For example.. making a hot dog and using ketchup to make a face and the bun as a cape and put the words “Wham”, or “Pow” in ketchup or mustard beside the hot dog)

Well, I hope that these ideas help you beat your child’s cancer blues.  Big hugs and keep on being strong.

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