10 Ideas for Having Fun During Long Hospital Stays

Nobody typically thinks about having fun at the hospital. In fact, hospitals are a favorite a breeding ground for Adultitis. Which is a bit of a problem, because humor and laughter have been proven to significantly impact the healing process and lift the spirits of patients and their families. Not surprisingly, Adultitis and boredom really set in when hospital stays extend to days, weeks or even months. Blech.

What can be done to pass the time, keep spirits up, and have fun during these long hospital days?

That’s the question we asked Kim & Jason Nation via our newsletter and our Facebook page, and they responded with HUNDREDS of awesome ideas. Seriously, they were really, really good, and most came from real life experiences. Here are 10 of our favorites:

  1. Get a journal and have visitors write a FAKE story about how they met the patient, but have them sign their real name.
  2. Speak in a different accent every day. If a nurse comments about it, pretend to not know what she’s talking about.
  3. Create sock puppets that look like the hospital staff and put on a show for visitors, nurses, or fellow patients.
  4. Learn a new medical term each day and see how many times you can use it in conversation.
  5. Get to know your nurses and doctors. Ask them a different question every time you see them. Find out their favorite food. Movie. Quote. Vacation spot. Childhood hero?
  6. Decorate the face masks in the room. Put lips, crazy noses and other things on them with marker or lipstick.
  7. Make GIANT get well cards for other people in the hospital. Or make congratulations cards for people in the maternity ward.
  8. Scavenger hunt! Some starter ideas: A ceramic mug with coffee, used flowers, a doctor in tennis shoes, nurse on the job less than one year (or more than 20), someone who will come sing happy birthday to the patient…
  9. Bring in funny wigs, hats, or fake mustaches for the patient or visitors to wear.
  10. Make up silly stories about people who walk by the room.

Pretty good, huh? We decided to assemble the best 52 ideas we received from our fans and readers into a Kim & Jason Fun Capsule that features Adultitis-busting prescriptions for making hospital stays more fun. Reminiscent of homemade memory jars, this Fun Capsule is stuffed with 52 individually folded slips of paper, each printed with a unique idea that will brighten the day of patients of all ages, as well as their families and visitors. A super neat gift idea that looks great on the shelf, recipients can pull out a random slip whenever they are in need of a fun power up. It’s a surefire Adultitis antidote and a great way to lift spirits and bond families during difficult times and long days at the hospital.

Available only at the Kim & Jason Lemonade Stand!


  1. All good ideas, except speaking in different accents. To me, that sounds like a great way to annoy the nurses and doctors and make them worry that you’re suffering undiagnosed head injuries or mental issues.

  2. This is super duper cool. I work in a hospital and trying to infuse humor from the staff to the patient, love how this is coming from the patient!

    • Yes, Adultitis is particularly bent out of shape when the humor is coming from both directions!

  3. Wow that was such a needed post! My mom is nearing the end of month 2 of hospital stay with no close end in sight (but an end eventually). I can use these ideas being as we get pretty antsy being up there day in and day out. Thanks guys!

    • Anin,

      It’s super gratifying to know that one or two of these ideas might be able to make your days less antsy and more fun. Hang in there…our thoughts and prayers are with you and your Mom :)

  4. Thanks guys. I am headed in for a bone marrow transplant in early August for a reoccurrence of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I will put them to use and let you know how it goes.

    • Please do, Jeff. But most importantly, show that Lymphoma who’s boss. We’re pulling for you!!!

    • Coleen says:

      We’re rooting for you! Mom has been being treated for lymphoma since April. She’s 81 and kicking it!

      I’ll visualize the good guys doing a packman number on the bad guys. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  5. Ruth Reynard says:

    I attended the NAFCC Conference in Atlanta, GA. I enjoyed you in the general session, so I went to your class, too, and I enjoyed it more. Too bad my husband wasn’t there to hear it too. (I was Stage 2 Adultitus; he would be full blown.) You talked about seeing a little girl go straight for a puddle of water and her mom saying, “NO!” That reminded me of my granddaughter at her 2nd birthday party. It started raining and everyone was running to get out of the rain. There was a little place where the water was ponding up. While her mom was busy, I took my granddaughter by the hand and we ran through the water…..several times. Her mom started laughing and said, “MOM, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Of course, I said, “Nothing.” It was the best fun of the day!

    • Thanks, Ruth! Glad you enjoyed my presentations. Sounds like you’re a pretty good role model for your granddaughter!

  6. Mary Powers says:

    I love these ideas and most of them my son and I will be able to do after his upcoming surgery till we get to come home… All awesome ideas! He has a condition called Craniosynostosis and they will be taking out pieces of his skull so these are things we will definitley be doing after he gets out of PICU and to feeling better! Again, Thanks for the ideas!!!

    • Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys, Mary! I hope the fun aids in the healing process :)