I think our family was the most frequent visitor to the doctor this summer. Summer! Can you believe it? That is when we are supposed to be germ free. Between the weekly baby check ups, the numerous illnesses that floated through our home, and other various appointments, we spent too many hours just waiting. A good day can turn bad quickly when you’re at the doctor with a sick baby and your toddler has a melt down and the other is asking, “How much longer until it’s our turn?” Luckily, my kids don’t mind waiting too much. In fact, there are certain waiting games that they actually look forward to playing when they know we have to go for appointments. When I remember to stay calm and play a few games, I find our visits go so much smoother. Here are their three favorite at this current time.
Simon Says: My 2 year old loves this game. It’s the perfect game and can work for whatever your child may need at that moment.
- If they are antsy, “Simon Says jump up and down.”
- If they are working on their colors, “Simon says run and touch something red.”
- If they are cranky, “Simon says show me how you shake your sillies out.”
- If they are into counting, “Simon says do four jumping jacks.”
- If you have a small space and cannot move around you can still play, “Simon says touch your nose.”
I Spy: Another game they love and you can play sitting in a waiting room is, I Spy! We were at the dentist and the kids found “I Spy Tubes.” We decided to try making these at home which turned into an entertaining morning activity in itself. The kids searched the house to find 10 items small enough to fit into a dry, empty water bottle (crayon, di, penny, small figurines, etc). After placing the items in their bottles, they used their fingers and small spoons to fill the rest with dry rice, leaving an inch or two empty at the top for shaking purposes. That’s it! They love to shake up the bottle and find all 10 hidden objects in their I Spy bottle. These are easy to pack or keep in the car, and the kids love them because they made them themselves. (I had to ductape the cap on to ensure no unwanted spills). If we forget the tubes, we can still play I Spy with objects we can see.
Guess My Number: My preschooler is very into big numbers and he loves to guess my number. You can start as easy as you want with little ones, such as a number between 1-5 or 1-10. I love when my son picks the number and I can almost see the wheels turning as he is figuring out higher than/less than. As needed, increase the gap and add more difficult clues. You can play with older kids too, using clues like, “My number is an odd number” or, “The sum of the digits in my number is 9.”
Not so Creative, but Necessary: I always keep a small tote bag filled with a few interactive books, nonperishable snacks and small games like Spot It Jr. and Go Fish. I have found we have a lot less meltdowns and a lot more family fun pulling out some of these games during our “wait” times.
What activities help your kids wait? Please comment below!