Brighten a Hospital Stay with a Busy Box

APRIL 2, 2024  /  KELLI NAPOTNIK  / 

Brighten a Hospital Stay with a Busy Box
Unexpected or extended hospital stays can be a very stressful time for both the patient and those at home. My mom is scheduled for a total knee replacement surgery this April, so naturally my mind is shifting to ways we can care for her in and out of the hospital. In looking for creative activities to bring my mom during her hospital stay, I stumbled upon the idea of a "busy box". Taking a busy box is a wonderful way to bring engaging activities to a loved one in the hospital and can help pass the time, especially if they have limited mobility.
I love the idea of getting the whole family involved with creating a busy box! If you have children, let them come up with fun activities they love to do. Then, create a box idea around that theme. This is such a sweet idea if you know of a child who is hospitalized.
Here are some simple ideas you can use for children and adults alike. You can use a gift box like these to fill with simple trinkets.
  • Dollar store coloring books
  • Mini notebooks
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Stickers
More items you could add to a box for added fun!
There are studies that suggest creating art helps us to process strong emotions that may not be easy to express. Providing simple activities like this can provide someone who has recently gone through surgery a way to process what they are feeling.
Here are thoughtful activities to send along to teens, adults or seniors facing a hospital stay:
Being admitted to the hospital for an extended stay can be a very stressful experience, especially if you have limited mobility. I love the words of encouragement Maureen shares in how to care for families in the hospital. She mentions when in the midst of a hospital stay, it may be hard for some to voice exactly what they need, so consider just doing!
"When in the hospital there are a lot of uncertainties but one thing is for sure, the family will appreciate anything you do to show them you care." Maureen.
I hope I've encouraged you to enjoy the creativity that comes with sharing a busy box. Being present with your loved one is always enough, but if you feel inspired to do something extra, a busy box is a fun way to give your loved one engaging activities to work on. Do you have experience taking a busy box? Or have you been on the receiving end of a gift like this that blessed you in the hospital? We'd love to hear!

Brighten a Hospital Stay with a Busy Box

#1: Check out this easy meal Nadia put together to take! The best part is this recipe can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months.
Don't have Instagram? Click here for the recipe!
#2: This Bunny Bait Trail Mix, filled with all the colors of spring, is the perfect extra to send along with a meal.
Don't have Instagram? Click here for the recipe!
#3: These Mini Jam Flower Tarts are the perfect addition to any meal! They're fun and delicious.
#4: Pasta is a tried and true meal to take. Check out these classic favorites and all new dishes on our Pinterest.
#5: Taking a meal to someone is a meaningful, tangible way to show you care. Often, though, people want to do more. Here are some simple ways you can support your loved ones in their time of need.
photo credit:

Read other recent articles by Kelli Napotnik:

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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