I recently took Jacob to the doctor for his “well baby” check up and, as always, we had quite a wait for the doctor. It never ceases to amaze me that, even with an appointment, we can spend up to an hour waiting to actually do the checking-up that we are there for (which, by the way, only takes about 5 minutes of the doc’s time). With two kids under the age of 3, one hour of waiting can seem like an eternity. I’ve come up with a few ideas that help the time go a bit faster:
1. Blow up a (clean) exam glove and tie it off at the wrist. Use this as a balloon/ball/chew toy. For a little extra fun, you can fill it with water instead of air to make a squishy water balloon (it feels really neat! Just don’t let your kids chew on this one, please…).
2. Get a wooden tongue depressor and a paper cup from the exam room (they’re usually in plain view, so I consider them fair game for the taking). Poke the tongue depressor through the bottom of the cup–the cup can move up and down the stick, which is apparently quite entertaining to 9-month old babies.
3. Bring crayons and color on the paper exam table covering. There are lots of fun activities that you can do here:
- Bring toy cars. Use the crayons you brought along to draw roads on the exam table for your cars to drive on.
- If your kids are a bit older, you can play games like tic-tac-toe or hangman.
- Trace your child’s body and let him color in his features, clothes, etc.
- Draw shapes, letters, animals, etc. and have your child try to guess what you’re drawing before you finish it.
- You (or your child) can objects that you find in the room (the bottom of a paper cup, your wallet, his shoe, etc.). Have your child decorate the shapes.
- Draw 2 or 3 sketches of common objects and have your child make up a story that involves all of the drawn objects. Or, work together to come up with a sentence that uses all of the objects. If you have a reader, have him help you write the sentence below the pictures.
4. Read books.
5. Play with Play-Doh.
6. Bring a Ziploc bag of Legos and build something together.
7. Play doctor–this is even more fun if you are the patient and your child is the doctor
8. Eat a snack.
9. Have a scavenger hunt using the charts hanging on the walls: Who can find a picture of a hand? Who can find the letter E? Who can find a smiling baby?
10. Wad up some paper towels and have a “snowball” fight (lay out some ground rules first for this one or it may get a bit out of hand!).
11. Fill the sink or a paper cup with some water and play “sink or float”. Take turns putting small objects in the water (a cotton ball, a crayon, a paperclip, a penny). Guess if the object will sink or float, then put it in the water to see what happens.
12. And, if all else fails, hand over your iPhone and let them watch Blue’s Clues 🙂