Unleash Your Creativity: Engaging Activities for the Bedridden

Being bedridden can be a lonely and isolating experience, but entertainment and engagement can help make the time pass more quickly.

I’ve tapped into a large resource of engaging activities to keep those stuck in bed occupied while on bed rest.

Table of Contents

Don’t miss my companion article on gifts for bedridden adults and children! Also, if you need gifts for a bedridden stroke patient, I’ve created a fun list of ideas/activities, just for them!

Interesting room, wall, and window decor

There are loads of ideas to make the bedridden room more interesting. Changing out the decor, setting up bird feeders outside of a window, adding plants are wonderful ways to infuse life into an otherwise dull room.

Don’t forget to plaster the ceiling with posters (just like they do in the dentist office!)

  • place bird feeders outside
  • fish aqaurium
  • bird cage
  • plants/fresh flowers
  • artwork
  • flowers to brighten up her room
  • indoor waterfall
  • motivational posters
  • decorate the window
  • nature or travel posters
  • fidget toys
  • digital photo frame
  • something to watch grow, like Amaryllis bulbs
  • set up an interesting arrangment in a corner and change often
Elderly woman reading a book.
Activities, like reading a book, make the time pass more quickly when confined to bed.

Don’t miss my companion article on gifts for bedridden adults and children!

Projects for bedridden persons

  • craft projects, needlecrafts like knitting, crocheting
  • make your own pop-books
  • do intricate paper cuttinga artwork, also known as scherenschnitte
  • research family geneology
  • explore places on Google Earth
  • adult coloring book
  • craft kits
  • paint by numbers kits
  • scrapbooking kit
  • model kits for adults or kids
  • participate in an online makeup tutorial
  • puzzles
  • design something for a 3D printer and use app to print it out
  • build-it kits, such as model airplane
  • start a new hobby
  • tend an indoor garden
  • clean out a junk drawer – it will feel good to do something useful
  • do small fix-it jobs, like repairing jewelry you have set aside because it was broken
  • figure out how to use a gadget or piece of technology
  • collect care basket ideas for someone bedridden based on what you have received, or dream about the perfect gifts for someone bedridden!
Wow, is this paper-cutting artist gifted! Paper-cutting tools and templates make great gifts for someone bedridden.

Don’t miss my companion article on gifts for bedridden adults and children! Also, if you need gifts for a bedridden stroke patient, I’ve created a fun list of ideas/activities, just for them!

Jobs for bedridden adults

Needing to stay working may be a need for some people confined to bed. Even having a purpose can affect their mental health.

One person shared that her grandmother took it upon herself to watch the security cameras of the family business. She was able to feel like she was contributing (and yes, she did make a difference).

Those who are bedridden may be able to do things for others, such as researching products, or planning a party right from their bed. Being a team, and brainstorming ideas on how they can help others, can be the greatest gift you can give a bedridden person.

This YouTuber discusses options for employment when needing to recover from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Books and audiobooks

Reading is a great way to escape into another world and forget about your current situation. Whether you prefer physical books or audiobooks, there are plenty of options available to keep you entertained.

Consider downloading the Kindle app on your phone or tablet for easy access to a wide variety of books. Alternatively, audiobook services like Audible offer a vast selection of titles that you can listen to while lying down. Surprise your friend or loved one with a curated list of audiobooks that you think would appeal to them.

Don’t miss my companion article on gifts for bedridden adults and children! Also, if you need gifts for a bedridden stroke patient, I’ve created a fun list of ideas/activities, just for them!

Movies, TV, online

  • boxed set of a movie
  • funny boxed movie set such as
  • scratch-off movie posters (for example, top 100 movies to watch)
  • subscription to Netflix
  • Cable TV subscription
  • Amazon Fire Stick
  • ROKU device
  • Ken Burn’s documentaries
  • binge-watching korean dramas
  • watch a foreign TV series with subtitles that you really have to pay attention to!
  • watch funny videos online/funny fail videos together
  • online scavenger hunts

Games and puzzles

Games and puzzles are another great way to pass the time and keep your mind engaged. Consider investing in a few puzzle books or downloading some puzzle apps on your phone or tablet.

Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, Mad libs, and word searches are all great options. If you have a friend or family member who can visit you, consider playing a board game or card game together.

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My kids have been having a hoot going thrift shopping and picking up 3D puzzles. Used puzzles are an affordable way to gift often and rotate out puzzles and games.

If you friend or family member appreciates a used gift, then lavish them with gifts!

  • animal crossing
  • magnetic dart throw game
  • any magnetic games
  • 3-d puzzles
  • one-player gifts such as solitary
  • play online against other players (all the rage with the younger bedridden patients)
  • Nintendo switch
  • Playstation
  • Wii Console
  • virtual reality headset

Don’t miss my companion article on gifts for bedridden adults and children! Also, if you need gifts for a bedridden stroke patient, I’ve created a fun list of ideas/activities, just for them!

Fun things to do when bedridden

Coming up with ideas for fun things to do when bedridden are great gifts to give someone bedridden. Your loved one will surely appreciate breaking the monotomy up of being stuck in bed.

If the patient is in a nursing home, caretakers can wheel out patients in their bed to the public area to enjoy performances. My local nursing home does a great job arranging entertainment such as informational programs, singers, and even dance performers.

Whatever the reason and length for being bedridden, I hope this list will spark dozens of more fun ideas to make the stay less boring.

Don’t forget to check out my in-depth article on gifts for bedridden patients for tons of thoughtful and practical ideas!

Boy in a hospital bed, wearing a clown nose while talking to a doctor.
Wearing funny costumes is one way to have a fun time while stuck in bed.

Here are some other fun ideas that a person stuck in bed can have fun with:

  1. catch up with old friends, whether in person or on the phone
  2. game show software or play trivia with friends (play Wheel of Fortune with friends)
  3. virtual head gear
  4. cat laser pointer
  5. projector flashlights
  6. View Master Toy and View Master disk sets
  7. learn to use Facebook or Snapchat
  8. learn a new language
  9. scratch off lottery tickets
  10. make a beautiful tablescape, or use their good china to make a fancy meal
  11. scratch off posters of fun things to do
  12. watch funny cat videos (on Youtube)
  13. enjoy online shopping
  14. do an online scavenger hunt
  15. watch funny videos or buy funny video boxed sets like Funniest Home Videos, Sports Bloopers, Funny Pet Videos
  16. Elf on the Shelf, Snoop on the Stoop, or customize your own custom-posed year-round distraction
  17. learn to play a smaller instrument, like a harmonica, ocarina, or start learning the piano with a small keyboard
  18. play a non-alcoholic TV or movie drinking game (for example, The Big Bang Theory, take a sip everytime someone says “Penny” or Sheldon knocks on a door).
  19. look for new recipes to try, someone else can make them if you are still bedridden
  20. have a taste-testing event
  21. start documenting your “stuff” – tell the story of where your jewelry came, or how you came about getting a favorite statue or piece of artwork in your home
  22. invest the time to learn the rules of a game, and then have friends come over and teach them the game
  23. write your life story, the story of how you met your partner, or funny stories you remember growing up – capture in a journal
  24. visit often or line up a surprise visitor, or do a “this is your life”
  25. make a bucket list
  26. play shadow puppets

The gift wrap up

Every act of kindness is a gift. Remember, thinking of fun things to do, gathering supplies and people, and making it happen are one of the best gifts to give a bedridden person. It’s a great way to support them and lift their spirits!

If you’re having a hard time coming up with other gift ideas, visit my in-depth article on gifts for bedridden patients for tons of thoughtful and practical ideas!

Renee Cavvy
Renee Cavvy

Renee pulls no punches when it comes to challenging the social norms of gift giving. Her mission: putting an end to meaningless gifts and cutting through the fluff. This midwest mom offers novel and creative ideas to do gift giving better!