8 COPD-Friendly Activities to Do with Kids

While spending time with kids can be great medicine for the soul, it can also leave you breathless from trying to keep up. But COPD doesn’t mean an end to fun time with your grandkids or other precious little ones. With a little creativity, you can come up with lots of great bonding activities that might work for you, even on a bad breathing day. Here are some suggestions below for some kid-friendly activities that won’t leave you breathless.

1. Board games or cards

Everyone loves a good game night. Playing card and board games can allow you to have hours of fun without getting out of your chair. Your little one might already be a master at playing Go Fish, but they may also love learning an old-school game that’s new to them. Try teaching them War, Crazy Eights, Rummy, Old Maid, Spoons, or any other favourite games you’ve got up your sleeve.
If cards aren’t your thing, pull out some of the old board games you have kicking around your shelves. For some inspiration, check out this list of 25 Old-Fashioned Board Games perfect for kids. The games you choose will depend on your preferences and the age of the players, but there are options available for all interests and age groups.


2. Puzzles

If you’re looking for an option to get everyone involved and keep the kids focused for a while, puzzles might be a perfect choice. The bigger the puzzle, the bigger the challenge—and the more satisfying it is when that last piece fits into place. If you’re short on space, you can use a puzzle keeper to roll up the puzzle without breaking it up and pull it back out to work on together on their next visit.


3. Arts & Crafts

Crafts are a great option for an activity that is engaging, fun, and creative but doesn’t require a lot of physical activity. Here are some ideas for your next craft project:

Finger puppets—followed by a puppet show!
Fingerpainting or drawing
Sewing, cross-stitching, or crochet
Making a family scrapbook
Painting pottery, rocks, or wooden birdhouses
Beading, or jewelry making


4. Movies

If going out will take too much of a toll, bring the movie theatre experience home. By renting a movie or using a streaming service (e.g., Disney or Netflix), you can go on an adventure together from your living room. You can take this idea as far as you want, even having tickets to punch, theatre-style popcorn, and an array of other sweet and salty snacks. To level up the experience even further, consider buying an at-home projector, allowing you to transform any blank wall into a huge projection screen. As an added bonus, a projector also gives you the option of taking your movie night outdoors in the warm months.

Once you’ve got your location, set-up, and snacks figured out, the last thing on the list might be the hardest one of all—picking a movie. To help with the process, check out this regularly updated list of the Best Kids and Family Movies for some inspiration.


5. Karaoke

Did you know that studies show that singing is good for lung health? Karaoke is the perfect opportunity to give your lungs a little strengthening exercise while having fun with your kids or grandkids. If you don’t feel up to joining in, you can let the kids have centre stage with the mic and call out requests.


6. Get into Nature

Feeling up to a small adventure? Bird watching is a great option to enjoy nature at a slower pace. Whether you stay in your own backyard to travel to a nearby park, you can make this an ongoing project, as you try to “collect” new types of birds each time you go bird-watching and research more about them once you go home. Fishing is another slow-paced activity that might work for you. Plan for success by packing light and bringing a chair.


7. Baking

Baking is the perfect hands-on activity that doesn’t require too much energy. Kids love getting involved with measuring, stirring, and of course, eating the yummy treats at the end. Pull out the family recipe book and teach the kids how to make your famous brownies, carrot cake, apple pie, or any other one of your specialty treats. Make it even more fun by baking something that you can decorate, like cupcakes or sugar cookies.


8. Online Activities

When kids are sick and germy, spending time together in person may be more of a risk than your health can take. But the fun doesn’t need to stop! Thanks to technology, you can still spend quality time with your kids or grandkids without needing to be in the same room. With video conferencing apps like FaceTime or Zoom, many of the activities mentioned above can be done separately, but together.


For example, you could have a gingerbread house decorating day, where you each decorate your own gingerbread house while video conferencing, and have a grand reveal once you’re finished. If gingerbread houses aren’t your cup of tea, the same concept can work for pretty much any craft project. Games like Mad Libs, Would You Rather, 20 Questions, and Charades are also great options. And sometimes, kids just want the chance to share their latest stories with a willing audience.

Having COPD may require you to make some adjustments to your activity level, but it doesn’t have to hold you back from making fun memories with the little ones in your life. Spending time together can bring you joy and improve your quality of life, despite a chronic illness. Keep this article handy for the next time you’re looking to entertain the kids in your life!