“That will be a 45 minute wait,” The hostess says through her smile as she hands me the light up disc vibrator thingy that keeps us tethered to the front lobby while we wait for our table along with 15 other party of sixes. I sigh and think, “Patience.”
“The doctor will be with you in a few minutes more like a half an hour” The nurse says through her smile as she backs out of the room and clicks the door shut behind her. Beige room. A few brightly colored posters on the wall. A board book. An old, torn Highlights magazine and a miscellaneous collection of instruments labeled “do not allow children to touch.” I sigh and think, “Patience.”
“Only 15 more minutes on the road kids!” I say through my smile as I flip the radio station after hearing the opening verse of Ke$ha’s “Blow” for the 40 bazillionth time. “Patience” I sigh as I click off the radio.
The grocery store check out line. The drive-thru at the local “not so fast food” place. On a long walk through the neighborhood. During dinner. When the girls say they are bored. These are just a few of the moments when I wrack my brain for a way to entertain my not-so-patient children and make time pass pleasantly.
Oh darn, I forgot my Pinterest inspired crayon pouches and busy books. The truth is, I’ve only pinned those things…I haven’t actually made them. And even if I did, I probably did forget them at home. I’m lucky to get out of the house without forgetting one of the kids! (I have never forgotten one of my kids. Although I have imagined following through on the threat while they are scrambling to find shoes whining that they don’t want to put on their shoes.)
It’s during these times that I think through my collection of games that require nothing more than people and brains to play. Some of them are better for older kids, but some can be adapted for littler ones who are no longer pacified with pacifiers, car keys, or the string from your hoodie. So here they are for you to file in your memory bank to use the next time you need to keep your kids from grabbing and, consequently, breaking things that say “do not let children touch” during the 20 minutes that you will be waiting for your doctor to appear.
10 + 1 for Good Measure Waiting Games for Kids
I’m Thinking of An Animal, Person, Place or Thing
This is also a fun game for kids of all ages. And the girls often request I’m Thinking of an Animal whenever I suggest a waiting game. It’s another easy one! Just choose an Animal (if the kids are older you can choose to play using famous people, places or favorite things) and then everyone asks yes or no questions about your animal and tries to guess what it is. For example: I chose COW. The kids ask: Does it live on a farm? Yes. Does it swim? No Does it eat Grass? Yes Does it give milk? Yes Is it is COW? Yes! It’s fun to try to stump them.
How’s Yours is best played in a group of at least four people. One person leaves the group and those left agree on an item…let’s say “toothbrush”–The guesser returns and takes turns asking each person “how’s yours?” the players give a word or short phrase to answer the question. I say “Bristly.” Child one says “soggy.” Child two says “green.” Child three says “chewed.” The guesser shouts out the answer as soon as she thinks of it and if she guesses on your word than you become the next guesser.
Lock your right hand with your opponent’s hand with thumbs up. Move your thumbs side to side and you both chant “One! Two! Three! Four! I declare a thumb war!” and then try to pin your opponent’s thumb with your thumb without letting go of their fingers. Once pinned, your opponent has 10 seconds to wiggle free before you win! (I let my kids win on occasion)
Rock, Paper, Scissors
The rock is a balled fist. The paper is a flat palm. The Scissors are the pointer and middle fingers sticking sideways. Rock beats Scissors. Paper covers Rock. Scissors cut Paper. Simply say “Rock, Paper, Scissors…Shoot” and everyone throws their choice into the center of the circle. It’s also a good way to make a decision–like who will be first to hop up on the doctor’s table when she finally arrives!
Pits and Cherries
I’m going on a Picnic
This is an alphabet/memory game. Start the game by saying “I’m going on a picnic and I am bringing an Ax” (or Apple, Anaconda, Aardvark–any “A” word) The next person says “I’m going on a picnic and I am bringing and ax and Bananas” The next person tries to remember everything the person before brought and adds their word to the end in alphabetical order. When the person can’t remember all the items in order they are out. The winner is the person who can remember the entire list when no one else can!
The Telephone Game
Name That Tune
One person chooses a well known song and hums the tune. The other players try to guess the song. The person that guesses gets to hum the next song. We play this game quite often. It makes time fly!Thankfully my girls can carry a tune pretty well so we aren’t often stumped!
Don’t Break The Cookie Jar
Can you think of any others? Leave ‘em in the comments! I’m always looking for fun, new ideas to keep the kids’ entertained!