We sat in the pale, square room. In the
decade 30 minutes since we got there, my 3 and 4 year olds crumpled the books in my bag, colored 3 pictures each, knocked over the trash can, smeared Eau d’Cheerio on the windows, fought over every crayon in the box, threw fits on the floor, got stuck under the exam table, and decreased my life expectancy by 20 years.
Let’s be honest, kids aren’t beacons of patience. Especially when they’re in frustrating situations that are beyond our control.
Since 2 of my 4 kids have developmental delays, medical and psychiatric special needs, I’ve spent over 200 hours in doctors offices in the last 6 years. Most of that in waiting rooms. That will make any mommy nuts. Trust me, I know.
Back in that pale, tiny room 4 years ago, I had a choice. Go with the angry, impatient, “crazy mom” moment, or find a way to enjoy the ride. I spent a year doing the first. NOT a pretty sight. Then one day I just decided to have fun in the waiting room. I had to spend the day being mom anyway, why not just extend normal life into that sterile little room? The least that could happen was we’d all be happier. And that was all the motivation I needed!
So here it is. A list of silly, goofy, playful things to do in a waiting room so you can wait with style instead of teeter on the brink of mommy psychosis. Enjoy! And please leave a comment with your ideas at the end!
- Crayola color wonder kits (no mess – yay!)
- crayons and coloring books
- stickers and paper
- window decals (from Target $1 isle) to use on cabinets or windows
- try to draw a recognizable picture together (house, boat, person). One starts & other finishes it.
- draw your ideal waiting room and talk about what you’d do there
- make a cootie catcher from office paper
- make word searches together
Get the wiggles out:
- make a secret handshake
- play hokey pokey
- play Simon says
- play name that tune. Then do it with only foot tapping or clapping.
- play rock paper scissors for chance to pick the next activity
- try to balance a pen on your nose (like a see-saw)
- see who can stand on one foot the longest
- have a thumb war
- travel Sorry or Connect Four (or another travel-sized favorite)
- deck of cards – for Go Fish, Old Maid, War, etc.
- make rhymes
- play the alphabet game (find an A, then a B… from words in the room)
- think of as many words that start with the sound/letter ___ as you can
- play hang-man
- guess how many people will come and go during your wait and see who’s closest
- make a new board game using a sheet of office paper and crayons
- tell each other (or make up) jokes
- recite Shel Silverstien poems
- say tongue twisters
- invent a new language and talk exclusively in that until the appointment starts
- pretend you’re from outer space and trying to figure out what the room is for, looking for clues
Do something practical
- imagine/plan your next adventure or family vacation
- write a letter to grandma
- plan your family’s meals for the week together
What would you add to the list? To leave a comment, click here. (No, seriously. I’ll be using your suggestions for next week’s appointments! 🙂
Have a great weekend!