Over the last six years I have become an expert in waiting. If it was an Olympic event, I reckon I could go pro.
The extent of Big Bear’s medical problems and his countless investigations for one thing and another have meant we have spent a good proportion of his life waiting for appointments. Add Little Bear’s issues into the mix and we are up there with the elite for how much time we have to spend at the hospital, doctors and healthcare centres.
It’s fair to say that I try to be organised with these things because we never know how long we will be waiting. Some departments are better than others for their time-keeping but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Snacks are a must – a cranky, hungry child is never fun. Depending on where we’re going, and how child-friendly the waiting room is, I also try to take a couple of their books and some trains or cars to play with.
My phone is the emergency back-up for those really long/difficult waiting periods but there are also times when you need another trick up your sleeve – particularly if you haven’t brought anything with you.
Here are five fun waiting games for kids that require nothing apart from your handbag.
1. Guess what’s in my purse
If you have more than one child with you and need to stop the bickering, get them to list as many items as they can think of that might be inside your purse. The one who comes the closest wins.
2. What’s missing?
This is one of our favourite waiting games for kids that we often play when sitting in a restaurant. Place a number of items from your purse on the table in front of you. Ask the kid(s) to try to memorise the items. While their eyes are closed remove 1-3 items. After opening their eyes, the kids have to try to remember what is missing.
3. How many can you name?
You can either put a timer on this or not, depending on how well your child responds to pressure. Give them a category and ask them to name as many things in that category as possible eg animals, vehicles, or children’s TV characters.
4. Magazine hunt
If there are magazines in your waiting room, you could turn the magazine into a scavenger hunt by asking your child to find certain items eg. ‘find something that starts with a B’ or ‘find something that is blue’.
5. Listen closely
Decide on a word or phrase to listen for. Everyone must stay quiet until they hear someone else in the waiting area say that word or phrase.
What are your favourite waiting games for kids? I’d love to hear your tips and techniques in the comments below.