Got kids? If so, chances are good that your painful joints sometimes spoil your fun with them. But with a little imagination and a few changes in activities, it’s possible to come up with several ways to have fun with your children while minimizing physical discomfort. And, as an added benefit to people with chronic conditions, several of these activities involve exercise, which can alleviate joint pain. 


Get up and set up. Knee-punishing floor games, such as stacking blocks, putting puzzles together and assembling Legos or magnetic building sets, can become table activities. You can sort pieces and help figure out directions.

Get crafty. Working together on craft projects, such as scrapbooks, collages or special-occasion cards, is a great way to have fun with your child and encourage his or her creativity. You even could supply them with easy-to-use disposable cameras to take photos for the projects. Provide kid-safe plastic scissors so your child can handle the cutting while you do the gluing.

Bond and support. Playing catch may not be an option if you have sore shoulders, but you can find other pain-free ways of bonding with little sports fans. Involve them in collecting baseball cards, pennants or other memorabilia from their favorite team. Share in their hobby by taking them to games, trading events or the local library to search for information on players they like.

Start scavenging. Obtain various restaurant coupons, movie passes or sporting event tickets and hide them throughout the house. Hold a scavenger hunt in which the first child to find one is permitted to choose the event for the day.

Mix it up. Whip up a batch of sugar cookies together. Then you can supervise the measuring of ingredients and sliding the baking sheets in and out of the oven, while the youngsters mix the batter, press out shapes with cookie cutters and decorate with frosting and colored sugar. 

Sing a happy tune. American Idol anyone? Get a fake microphone and have fun watching your kids perform their favorite songs. Or do you best Jennifer Lopez impression as a judge. You may even consider getting a karaoke machine so you can sing along with them.