Beat the waiting room blues. Keeping your child calm and entertained

 In Toddler

Child wants parent to entertain him in waiting roomSitting in a waiting room with small children can be a
nightmare. Not only are we, as parents, feeling tense
and impatient, but our children often pick up on our
irritations and start playing up.

So what can we do if we are stuck in a waiting room
and need to keep our children entertained?

Take a bag with a selection or the following items:

  • Toys, such as mini versions of your child’s favourite characters, cars, trains, figures, dolls, action figures, building bricks etc.
  • Snacks
  • Drinks
  • Books
  • Travel games
  • Electronic hand-held games
  • Comics
  • Colouring crayons/ pencils / pens and
  • Paper, notebook or colouring book
  • Magnetic drawing board or mini whiteboard and dry-erase pens
  • Doctors kit
  • Favourite cuddly toy or blanket
  • Portable DVD player and headphones (if you have one!)
  • Portable CD player with favourite music or book on tape
  • Sensory items such as a glow wand, vibrating toy, feather or piece of fluffy ribbon
  • Quiet games to play

Bring out a new item each time your child gets bored

Other ideas to keep your child entertained:

  • If there are toys provided in the waiting room, find one that your child would enjoy. Alternatively get down to your child’s level and give a running commentary on everything your child does with the toys. Children love this!
  • If there are books, get your child to read to you. If they can’t read then read to them. If you can be animated and engaging your child will love you for it. If you can add silly voices or sound effects, everyone else in the waiting room will be thoroughly entertained!
  • Make up a story where your child is the hero or heroine. Bring in the names of your child’s friends as characters in the story. Add in a theme if you can such as good triumphing over evil, small outwitting big, etc.
  • Make up a story with your toddler, where you start the story and you take it in turns with your child to add  each subsequent line
  • Tap out the beat to a song or nursery rhyme on your leg and see if your child can guess what it is. Then it’s your child’s turn
  • Consider teaching your child to play a game on your mobile and let them have a go. If you are really organised you can do a Google search for the best aps for toddlers or children, and get them installed on your android phone, iPod or iPad
  • Play a word game such as I-spy, 20 questions – get your child to think of something and see if you can guess what it is using 20 questions where they can only answer yes or no. Or ‘I’m thinking of a word that rhymes with….’ Older children enjoy the game where they think of  ‘My five favourite…’ (Celebrities, pop songs, TV programmes, teachers, friends, things to do, etc.)
  • Finger rhymes and action songs such as this little piggy, hickory dickory dock (move your fingers up and down their belly like the mouse) Round and round the garden, etc.
  • Talk about a favourite holiday destination or a place your child loves and remember all the things you enjoy about it.
  • Play counting games such as how many panes of glass in the window How many blue chairs? How many babies? How many tiles on the ceiling?
  • If you have a pen and paper play noughts and crosses, or devise a little treasure hunt where you write or draw a list of items and your child has to spot them.
  • Play ‘Do as I’m doing’ and pull silly faces or touch parts of the body and your child has to copy you. Make it harder by creating a sequence of actions that your child has to remember.

What do you do if you are stuck in a waiting room? Please post your ideas in the box below. Or let me know which idea in the list above you might try next time you are waiting with your child


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