Hospital stays can happen all too often for many families living with FPIES and we know it can be difficult to keep your little one occupied. FPIES parent Zack Skrip gave us some really great ideas back in June on Things to do in the Hopsital. Expanding on one of his suggestions, I’ve put together a list of simple crafts that you and your child could do while stuck in the hospital this winter.

To make it as easy as possible, I have tried to limit the crafts I’m listing here to ones that can be done with only a handful of supplies. Some of the examples I’m listing do use other items, like glitter or googly eyes, but for the most part they can be done with only the following craft supplies:

  • Paper plates
  • Cotton balls
  • Construction paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, markers, or colored pencils

1. Cotton Ball Pictures

This is a fun tactile activity that you can do with some construction paper, glue, and cotton balls. Either draw or cut out a shape and let your child have fun gluing cotton balls to fill in any white spaces. There are tons of possibilities, but for winter time, check out these cotton ball snowmen and penguins.

2. Foam Cup Snowmen

For this simple craft, just grab a disposable cup and turn it into a snowman with some construction paper decorations. If you didn’t bring your own cups, there’s a good chance you can find one in the hospital.

And if you can wrangle up six disposable cups and your child is feeling up to a little competition, consider a friendly game of Snowman Slam. Just arrange the decorated cups into a pyramid and take turns trying to knock them down using a rolled-up pair of socks.

3. Paper Heart Penguin

This adorable paper heart penguin requires only glue, scissors, and construction paper. The tutorial suggests using googly eyes, but if you don’t have those in your hospital craft kit, you could easily cut out paper eyes or just draw them on.

4. Paper Snowflakes

If your child is old enough to use scissors on their own, paper snowflakes are probably one of the easiest winter crafts you can do.

5. Paper Plate Crafts

With a paper plate, a pair of scissors, and something to color with, the possibilities are endless! Here are some cute winter themed choices: polar bear (uses cotton balls), penguinsnowflake, and snowman.

These paper plate superhero masks aren’t winter-themed, but as a mama with two little boys who are crazy about anything superhero-related, I couldn’t resist adding it in. There are lots of other paper plate mask ideas out there, as well, so you are sure to find one that your child would enjoy.

6. Paper Plate Winter Hat

Here’s one more paper plate idea. You might not be able to actually wear this paper plate hat, but it looks like a lot of fun to make! Just cut a paper plate in half, glue on some cotton balls and decorate it as you please.

7. Ripped Construction Paper Art

You can create some fun pictures with ripped paper and glue, including this cute snowy owl. Even if your child is too young to assemble the pieces into a more complicated shape, they will likely still enjoy just gluing it all together to create their own unique artwork.

8. Paper Plate Valentine Holder

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it might be fun to include a few holiday themed ideas to round off this list. Here’s one for a cute paper plate Valentine holder. The tutorial uses staples to hold the paper plates together, but you use tape or glue as well. Once you’ve got a heart shaped holder, let your child decorate it with crayons, construction paper shapes, or whatever else you have handy!

9. Heart Wreaths

This paper plate heart wreath would be an easy and fun way to make the hospital seem a little more festive. It would also make a fun Valentine’s gift for someone special

10. Valentine’s Day Card

Your child might also enjoy making some Valentine’s cards for friends, family members, or even the nurses and doctors there at the hospital. These ASL I-Love-You and I love you to pieces cards can both be done with nothing but construction paper, glue, and a pencil.

We hope you don’t have to spend too much time in the hospital this winter, but just in case you do, consider putting together a simple craft kit that you can grab on the way out the door. And if you and your little one do create any works of art in the hospital, we’d love to see them! Send us your pictures to:

This post was written by FPIES Foundation volunteer Aubrey Fredrickson.  Aubrey is a freelance writer and mother of two. Although not personally touched by FPIES, she is grateful for the opportunity to be involved with the families and volunteers of the FPIES Foundation.