These past couple months have brought Norovirus and one tonsillectomy, and therefore I have some suggestions for occupying young minds trapped in poor little suffering bodies.
(Also one recommendation for any other grown-up caffeine junkies who suddenly cannot stomach morning coffee: it does not kill a person to drink Coca-Cola in the morning in this dire situation. It can be a person's sole source of calories for a couple days, even, and she will survive. May you never need this useful information.)
Anyway! Things that kept the kids distracted:
Here's the description of Bookflix on the Cary Memorial Library Website: "Interactive books build a love of reading and learning by pairing classic fictional video storybooks from Weston Woods with nonfiction ebooks from Scholastic." All I had to do was Google Bookflix and my library name together, find the link, enter my library card number, and we had access to lots of videos of picture books (with highlighted text). My first-grader watched the Shrinking Violet video twice and read the accompanying nonfiction book about space. It was a pretty great blend of entertaining and educational.
My daughter has reread this D'Aulaires book of Greek Myths more times than I can count. Her very sweet aunt sent the book of Norse Myths as a tonsillectomy gift, which was just perfect. It was an excellent companion to the Rick Riordan series the patient was also reading, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. In fact, I have so many myth-related titles to recommend, I think I'll have to do an entire post on them.
4. iPad Apps
Big hits at our house:
Both children are addicted to this puzzle game.
Our 9-year-old recently read a bunch of Harry Potter books, so this app was a great follow-up. She was absorbed in it for several days, right when she was suffering some discomfort after her surgery, and I was so happy to see her mind on something else.
I remember making a whole bunch of these embroidery floss bracelets around the 3rd-6th grade time of my life. It was very fun teaching my daughter how to make them. I found this site that has excellent instructions with pictures. The only thing I did differently was to safety-pin the bracelet through the end knot to a pillow, in order to pull it tight. This site recommends tape instead.
6. Scratch Art & Paper Airplanes
My daughter's other sweet aunt gave her a book of scratch art, and it was one of the first things she did when she came back from the hospital. My son has been on a paper airplane kick, and there are more of them around than I can count, with different names, like the "spark" and the "dart." He's checked out a couple books on paper planes from the library, but since we've returned them I can no longer remember the titles, alas.