A broken leg isn’t an easy experience for anyone to deal with, but it can be extremely tough on kids. My daughter recently was hurt playing soccer, and it has been a struggle to keep her from going stir crazy while she can’t be up and about on her feet. Here are a few ways our family has been keeping her entertained and distracted from the injury:


Being able to spend time playing her Nintendo 3DS XL portable gaming system has really helped overcome her disappointment about being laid up in her cast. What is really nice about this device is it provides impressive 3-D imagery without the use of glasses to see the special effects. Kids can simply adjust a lever along the screen to turn the 3-D effects on and off.  The Nintendo 3DS XL also has a camera, a web browser, and a lot of other really great features to it. Plus, a huge library of awesome games.


Two of my daughter’s favorites are Miitopia and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions. In Miitopia, players can customize character’s called Miis within the game to look like family members and friends to engage in a fairytale-style adventure. In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions, the plumber brothers team up with their longtime adversary on a fun-filled quest to Beanbean Kingdom. Kids can play one game from Mario & Luigi’s angle and another from the perspective of Bowser and his Minions. Mario and Luigi have a variety of goofy techniques known as Bros. Moves used to solve puzzles and overcome challenges on their adventure while Bowser’s Minions is more of a battlefield turn-based strategy game.

LEGO DIMENSIONS is another great video game (we have the PlayStation 4 version). This game combines physical LEGO mini-figures and brick building with the quirky fun from LEGO TV shows, movies, and video games. Plus, the game lets kids combine characters from multipele franchises, and features tons of super females, including Abby Yates (Ghostbusters), Chell (PortalL 2), Hermoine Granger (Harry Potter), Nya (LEGO Ninjago), Starfire (Teen Titans Go!), Wonder Woman (DC Comics), and Wyldstyle (The LEGO Movie). Plus, my little girl loves E.T.—a favorite from my childhood—which is also featured in the game, and provides a nice connection for some daddy-daughter time.



Find It games, from Identity Games, are also a great way to pass some time when you are stuck in bed or sitting on a couch. A number of treasures are hidden within a sealed container filled with beads, and kids have to find them by shaking the container around. My daughter loves the “Where’s Waldo” edition of the game, but there are a variety of themes to choose from, including Captain Underpants and Sesame Street.


The Crayola Fashion Superstar kit is great for kids who love to design their own outfits. This set lets kids color in pre-drawn clothing pieces in a sketchbook and scan their designs into an app for a personalized virtual reality fashion superstar experience. My daughter’s attention and imagination have been captured by this wonderful Crayola product.



While toys and games are great, of course we want some of her time to be spent on educational and productive things, like reading. We discovered some adorable Head Lites from Hog Wild Toys that provide the perfect illumination for reading. Plus, wearing one makes reading time much more fun! There are a number of animals to choose from, ranging from chickens to wolves, so you’re sure to find one that will delight any kid to wear.

My daughter really enjoys flipping through the pages of Adventures in History and other books by Richard Unglik that are full of incredible illustrations featuring Playmobil toys. The book features images of knights jousting, man’s first step on the moon, and the fall of the Berlin Wall portrayed with Playmobil figures and accessories—impressive. Additionally, she likes to read Amelia Bedelia, Judy Moody, and Disney The Never Girls stories.


While being disappointed in not being able to play at recess or continue participating in dance, soccer, or swimming for awhile, we’ve been gradually seeing my daughter’s frowns flip to smiles. Making sure she has some amusing ways to pass the time beyond just watching movies and TV have contributed to her positively coping with the injury. Though, she still counts down to me every morning before school the number of days until the doctor has cleared her to be able to start jumping, skipping, and running again.

What are some of your favorite activities and games that your family turns to when you have a sick child stuck in bed or with restricted mobility while healing from an injury?

About the author

Tim Burns

Tim Burns

Tim Burns is the father of 9-year-old twins. He blogs about the adventures of parenting from a fun-loving dad's perspective at ageekdaddy.com. A connoisseur of comic books and remote control cars, he enjoys family road trips and is an avid Detroit Tigers fan.