I have spent quite a bit of time in waiting rooms with a toddler or two. Unless it’s the dentist or something impossible, both my boys are usually with me for their appointments and mine. After prenatal appointments, weekly chiropractor visits, biweekly cranial helmet adjustments, and regular checkups, I’ve come up with some games that don’t require any toys or tricks from the purse.
Anyway, I only have one phone and my two boys fight over it. Anyway, it’s a good way to teach patience and encourage imagination. Here are some ideas to entertain your little, wiggly, restless one:
Behind which hand
Hold something small enough to be completely covered in one hand — a cotton ball, small wad of paper — and put your hands behind your back. Have your child guess which hand it’s in. And of course, they’ll want a turn to try it on you too. This is our favorite one.
You don’t have to stand up to play. You can play seated and use phrases like “touch your nose” or “pull on your ear.” If your munchkin is too young to get the concept of the “Simon says” part, you can have her mirror your moves. She’ll think it’s funny when you mirror hers too.
Look around the room and pick an object. Say “I spy with my little eye something ________.” For the younger ones, you can use colors to make it more simple.
Make a face
See who can make the funniest face. We try to be serious while we’re contorting our faces and whoever laughs first loses! It’s hard to be a fussy pants in the waiting room when you’re laughing at Mom.
Sing a song
You’ll have to try to not get too loud with this one, but it can still be fun. Maybe save it for when your in your own room, waiting for the doctor. I’ve had luck singing repetitive songs or songs with motions (I just make ’em up as I go) so the kids can sing or motion along — like Old MacDonald, Wheels on the Bus, or Itsy Bitsy Spider.
Tell a story
Sometimes I make up a story and then my son tells me his own. Or sometimes I make up a silly story and he finishes it. Of course, I love hearing his stories more than I like telling my own — much more creative.
Kids love answering questions and it’s fun to hear how their answers change with such frequency!
- What’s your favorite color?
- How old are you?
- Who is your best friend?
- What’s your favorite thing to do?
- What’s your favorite animal?
- What are you good at?
- Where’s your favorite place?
Those are the tricks up my waiting room sleeve. Do you have any of your own favorite games to play while waiting?