Cover image of activities about illness and wellness

Here are three activities about illness and wellness. They help children to understand what it means to be ill, and how to stay well. It explores what symptoms they might have if they get a bit poorly and what to do to help those symptoms. And helps them think about how to stay well and reduce the spread of germs

In Rhubarb Has A Cold, Rhubarb wants to go out with his friends but is too ill to go. He finds out that when you're poorly, it can sometimes be very frustrating because you don't want to miss out, but that resting and taking care of yourself can help you to get better more quickly.

Worksheet for Activities About Illness And Wellness

There are three fun activities about illness and wellness. One is a fun but messy activity about spreading germs (see note below). One is about coming up with good ways to make different symptoms feel better, and one is about looking after yourself and healthy habits.

You can download the printable with the activities here.


One of the activities in the printable involves children finding out how germs spread by using a little glitter on their hand and then doing normal activities to see how many places the germs end up in an hour or so. This is a great way to find out why washing your hands, using a tissue and being careful about your snotty nose or cough is helpful at reducing the number of your friends who might catch your cold.

However, in the current situation of the coronavirus outbreak, many children already have a heightened awareness of the spread of germs and may be practicing some of these skills already. In addition many children may be quietly very anxious about the virus and an activity like this may make them too anxious and they may begin to imagine germs everywhere and become fearful. The coronavirus outbreak is a different experience to normal childhood coughs and colds, as it can be much more dangerous to important people in your child(ren)'s life. Many children will have picked up on the understandable and sensible concerns of their families. This background could give the glitter germs activity too much significance and backfire on their mental health.

Children's mental health is of the utmost importance. Sometimes messages which are laid under stress are difficult to undo later. If you think that there is any chance that the glitter germs activity may make your child(ren) fearful in a way which is unhelpful or might stick in their heads in a way which may not be good for them, do not do this activity. It was written in normal times, for some children to understand normal coughs and colds. It will be useful again in the future for some children to understand for normal coughs and colds. At the moment it may not be suitable for many children and it is ultimately up to you as a parent or practitioner to think very carefully about whether it is the right time and the right activity for your child. If in any doubt, don't use this activity during the pandemic.

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