Breaking an arm means kids have to sit out so many fun activities! These one handed activities for a child with a broken arm help kids cope.
My eight-year-old broke her arm this summer, and I realized just how many activities kids CAN’T do when they only have one arm they can use! Thankfully my readers and blog friends stepped in with some great activities.
One Handed Activities for a Child with a Broken Arm
Lily’s arm broke so close to the arm socket that they opted out of putting it in any sort of cast at all – they would have had to immobilize the entire shoulder, and that creates all sorts of problems. She had a sling, instead, and was told not to move it for three weeks and to make sure nothing bumped it. But several people told me that, if your child needs a cast, you can ask for a waterproof cast so that they can keep swimming and showering without any issues.
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Eat Ice Cream
It’s nice to have a fun treat after a challenging experience. Lily definitely appreciated ice cream after a sleepless night in the emergency room! If you go with popsicles instead, try this fun ice cream stick balancing challenge from Teach Me Mommy.
Sing Your Heart Out
Singing doesn’t require any arms! My girls LOVE singing in a flashlight spotlight. Lalymom has a cute stage backdrop you can make! This is also a great time to put on a play.
Embrace Your Inner Scientist
A broken arm is a great opportunity to make some time to quietly observe the world around you. KC Edventures has some great citizen science projects to get kids started. We love this simple plants and sunlight experiment.
Build a Reading Fort
Books can provide a healthy escape for kids who hurt. Turn the couch cushions into a makeshift reading fort. Use a flashlight, lantern, or reading lamp for light.
Snowball Target Practice
Throw indoor snowballs (here’s a pattern if you want to sew snowballs!) at an indoor target. You can draw a target on a paper bag, print out a picture to aim at, or create a simple carnival game.
Make a Movie
You only need one hand to make a stop motion movie! Stop motion movies are easy to make at home, and offers some great opportunities to learn through play.
Stamp a Scene
Rubber stamps are easy for kids to use even with a non-dominant arm. Several Melissa and Doug stamp sets lend themselves well to storytelling.
We recommend our glitter slime as a highly engaging activity kids can make and play with using only one arm. Potion making is another fun one-handed activity for kids.
Accommodate Favorite Activities
It’s hard for kids to give up favorite activities! Accommodate them where you can. Lily was under a strict no swimming ban from her doctor, which made her pretty sad since that’s one of her favorite pastimes. She was able to work out a way to sew one-handed – it’s so much easier to accommodate quiet activities.
Set Up a Home Spa
Try out some fancy nail painting and new hair dos. Silly nails and crazy hair can also be fun!
Painting and coloring work great one-handed. Just consider it a super creative challenge if you can’t use your dominant arm. Zentangle up your cast like Left Brain Craft Brain!
Quiet Games You Can Enjoy with a Broken Arm
Several readers suggested quiet games. Here are a few specific recommendations:
- DIY Fabric Marble Maze
- Jacks (this works best if your child can still use their dominant hand)
- Blowing bubbles
- Guess Who
- Connect Four
- Cat Stax
- Jenga. Limit all players to only one hand to even the playing field.
Thank you to everyone who helped me come up with activities to keep Lily engaged while we waited for her arm to heal. She is so happy to have two fully functional arms now! Can you think of any fun activities for a child with a broken arm? I love hearing from my readers! Share ideas in the comments and on my Facebook page. You can also tag me on Instagram.
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
8 thoughts on “One Handed Activities for a Child with a Broken Arm”
Poor thing. I hope she gets well soon.
This helped a lot I recently broke my wrist and it has been a struggle now I know things I can do to keep my mind of the pain and activities I can do.
Oh no! My son broke is arm when he was three. The water table had to be entirely rethought because he had three pins in him arm and could not get his arm wet. The kids are resilient though. It’s amazing!
I found the hardest part when W broke her leg was keeping her still and sitting while she wasn’t allowed to move around, that was the most frustrating part for her.
I can’t imagine the stress of having a fracture you can’t even put a cast on.
It was kind of exhausting, especially since it was a pretty serious break. It was a great year to start homeschooling, since I don’t know how we ever would have kept it protected if she were running off to school every morning. I’m so glad she’s all better now!
This sounds like a scary ordeal, but you certainly found so many wonderful ways to keep Lily busy!
This is a fabulous list with savvy solutions to a common problem. Glad Lily is healed!
what a useful resource, I love how you took into account various areas of child’s play and incorporated a lot of comforting activities into the post. I’m happy Lily’s OK again. Have a great day,
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