4 Year Old with Broken Leg

Updated on February 02, 2010
H.F. asks from Point Reyes Station, CA
11 answers

My 4 year old son fractured a bone in his foot and cannot bear wieght for 5 to 6 weeks. We are on day 4 and he is going a little stir crazy. I need ideas for activities he can do without walking. I also have a 10 month old and a 2 year old so for the most part they need to be at home as I am unable to carry both my 4 year old and the baby and keep the 2 year old with me. I would also prefer activiteis that don't recquire my constant help as I am pretty busy.

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answers from San Francisco on

I would suggest some craft books like the KUMON's collection, with a childproved scissors, glue and crayons, kids can stay still for a good while.
Otherwise, fold some papers into half and let him make his own story book and ask him to tell his story for his bothers/sisters as bed time story.
If you don't mind mess, play-doh is always a good entertainner.
Good luck!

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answers from Chico on

If he can sit cross legged, the sit and spin toy is fun and can tire him out and give him some physical activity. If you let him use the computer, starfall.com has phonics based activities including the sign language alphabet, a little animation for each letter of the alphabet, word completion and reading activites, among others. My kids also love to do the Dinosaur Train activities on the PBS kids website. Frugalfamilyfun.com has a blog of cheap activities- often art, but not always. Puzzles are always good- and you could get some blunt safety scissors and let him loose on an old magazine and have him do a scavenger hunt kind of thing- finding different colored things or as many animals as he can find. My son got into drawing at that age. I read (on the Frugal Family Fun page) and idea to put a plain white cotton shower curtain on the floor and let the kids loose with chalk- then you can wash and reuse it. Don't know how well that would work with your younger kids... She also had a suggestion to fill an inflatable pool with oatmeal for an indoor sandbox that's easy to clean and you don't have to worry about the kids eating it...

Best wishes!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Sorry for your son. My son was 6 when he broke his leg. He could not bear any weight for 8 weeks. The first week was the worst because he want used to the crutches. He was in school at the time so he wasn't as stir crazy as your son probably is. It does get easier with the crutches and soon he will be flying around. It took my son about a week to get used to them then after that he was ok to get around by himself and that helped a lot. His 4 year old younger brother also played around with the crutches and got pretty good with them.



answers from Kansas City on

This was a favorite with my kids - I bought a vinyl tablecloth with flannel backing and put it on my hardwood floor and turn them loose with playdough. They had to keep it on the mat and it made clean up much easier and I didn't have playdough all over my house.

I'd suggest legos, but I'm concerned about your little ones and the small pieces... maybe lincoln logs? Something he can build with and keep his brain active!

I feel for you, my son fractured his foot when he was three and it was a challenge. You may want to look at these websites for more ideas: FisherPrice.com (it's not just FP toys, they have acitivies and ideas broken down by age group. I used this site for ideas when I was my kiddo's room mom), Scholastic.com and familyfun.com.

Good luck, I hope his foot heals quickly!



answers from San Francisco on

Has the doctor checked his vitamin D levels? If he is deficient he will need some along with calcium rich foods and maybe supplemented calcium to build strong bones...Just a thought! Good luck and happy healing to your son.



answers from Redding on

Dear H.,
Your poor boy. I broke my leg and it was torture not being ambulatory.
I love the wagon idea, especially if you can fit more than one kid in at a time. Lord knows you only have two arms.
My daughter had little lap trays. I don't remember where we got them. One had kind of a sand bag bottom and the other was foldable. Like a "breakfast in bed" kind of tray. She used them to color and draw and do homework. They worked on her bed or the couch or even on the floor. The folding one was basically a dry erase board and she decorated it all different ways. I would say, "Draw me a picture of you being happy. Now draw sad. Now draw surprised. Now draw tired. Make a circle, a triangle, a rectangle. Draw Mommy trying to think of another thing for you to draw."
Get him a notebook and let him draw, scribble, write, put stickers, fold some of the pages. Take pictures of him that can be duplicated at Walgreen's and printed out. Let him glue stick (non toxic of course) and cut and paste, literally, in a journal. Give him a project and then hang on to it for dear life so he can have it when he's older. My daughter is 24 and it melts her that I saved so many things.
20 years from now, you will both cherish it. I promise.
Be sure to take a picture of him and have it laminated or find a 3 ring binder that has a clear "slip cover" pocket for the cover of the notebook and date it.
Your 2 year old isn't too young to have a favorite colored crayon and and a notebook of their own.

Hope you get lots of gread advice and best wishes.



answers from San Francisco on

I would suggest some craft books like the KUMON's collection, with a childproved scissors, glue and crayons, kids can stay still for a good while.
Otherwise, fold some papers into half and let him make his own story book and ask him to tell his story for his bothers/sisters as bed time story.
If you don't mind mess, play-doh is always a good entertainner.
Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

You poor family- how well I remember this experiance. We got ours a wheelchair -borrowed-- to get him around in and could put the other 2 in it as well (actually better than a stroller). I gave himm a ream of paper and a new box of 64 crayons and color pencils. Had him fraw pictures of him self for family members and we mailed it., Alot of Disney channel becasue it was safe and we rented old Captain Kangaroo and Mister Rogers shows to watch and interact with. Becasue we had a piano I marked the keys and gave simple songs to follow so he learned how to play & we actually have the same markers on there to this day and many children since then have enjoyed it. Good Luck and be sure to treat yourself well. Nana Glenda



answers from Honolulu on

Let him use the computer... there are many learning sites. Sorry I forget which ones. But my daughter's Teacher has a list.

Wheel him around in the house, in a stroller... those umbrella strollers.
MUCH easier. If my 7 year old can fit in it, then he can. My daughter had a badly sprained foot with a cast on it, and this is what we did. Stroller. In the house and out. Very helpful.
Also, get him crutches. VERY helpful. Kids CAN use these.

Let him do art work, reading, computer, cooking at a table, play doh, coloring, card games, checkers, "Think Fun" has some great kids games that can be played with only 1 person (barnes & noble carries it and Amazon), puzzles, crafts, movies,
maybe get him a Leapster... its REAL good and educational and both my kids LOVE it.

All the best,



answers from San Francisco on

Wow--- I don't envy you! Four year olds can't sit still long under the best of circumstances. Get him some of those "I Spy" books that have highly detailed scenes made out of everyday objects, where the kids have to figure out what they're looking at, and find particular objects in the picture... they have some for very young kids, and they're really fun. And set him up to draw and paint, and to cut and glue construction paper. Bright colored pipe cleaners are fun for twisting around into things. If you can get a quick break, go to the crafts supply store, and browse through their kids' sections. They have LOTS of fun stuff. Good luck!



answers from Sacramento on

When my 3 year old daughter broke her leg, I went right out and bought the Radio flyer wagon, the plastic one with the convertible seats http://www.radioflyer.com/products/wagons/3100.asp.

It was perfect because I had a 1 year old at the time and I couldn't carry both while managing to get anything done. She had her meals in it, sat up and did activities on the desktop, I could wheel her right into the kitchen or around the house with me, take her outdoors for a walk or to just be outside with the other kids playing...best of all, both my kids could fit in, so no fighting.

It's funny, because we don't use it as much now, but you just reminded me how very valuable it was to me for those long 6 weeks!

Wishing your little guy a speedy recovery!


answers from Richmond on

I hope your little guy feels better soon! I was 4 when I broke my arm (the first of many broken bones)... and I will never forget that BOREDUM! If you are okay with him using your computer (with your help, of course) nickjr.com has free games and activities (my daughter was able to start playing around age 3 with my assistace), stuff to print off and color, as well as suggestions for you too. Sticker books (the kind you also color in) are fun, legos don't get boring, puzzles with big pieces, have him create his own story book to read to you, let him help you cook (you measure, he pours), have him 'help' you fold laundry or clean (kids will surprise you, they want your approval so bad, that after a little whining, most are very good helpers). Books on tape and music are entertaining and limit tv watching. I know it's cold out (well, maybe not so much out your way, we're buried under a foot of snow right now), but going for walks outside and playing 'i spy' are great for a change of scenery. I know this takes a LOT of energy on your part, and it's sooo hard to try to tell a 4 year old they simply CAN'T... but hang in there :)

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