Does it ever feel like you spend a lot of time waiting? Waiting in the checkout line, waiting at the doctor’s office, waiting to get your oil changed, waiting to get on an airplane, waiting for your turn on the roller coaster ride? It makes sense to feel that way. In a year, the average American spends 17,600 minutes driving, 58.6 hours waiting at red lights, and 3 days waiting in physical lines. Human beings spend approximately 6 months of their lives waiting in line for things.
Waiting isn’t fun, but it can be especially hard for kids. Luckily you don’t need to toss toys into your bag or plan a bunch of activities to keep your kids busy while waiting for things. Any time is a great time to bond together over conversation and laughter, and with these zero supplies required games, you may just begin to look forward to those little in between moments of waiting.
A little creativity can help you make most of your time.
1. Draw a letter or number on your child’s back and see if they can guess what you wrote.
2. Play I-Spy
3. Talk about 3 goods things that happened today, and 1 bad or challenging thing that happened.
4. Ask your child about their favorite things – animal, food, color, television show, song, movie, snack, drink, friend, etc.
5. Describe an animal or object with clues and see if they can figure out what you are describing.
6. Have a starting contest.
7. See who can go the longest without talking.
8. Teach your child to count money with some of the coins or bills in your wallet.
9. Practice shoe tying.
10. Flip a coin.
11. Guess the names or jobs of the people around you.
12. Give each other an invisible manicure.
13. Pick a number, give your child a range of numbers to choose from and see if they can guess the number you are thinking of.
14. Make up math story problems.
15. Tell each other jokes or make up your own.
16. Come up with rhyming words for the things around you.
17. Take turns coming up with words that start with each letter of the alphabet.
18. Remove one item from the space in front of you and have your child figure out what’s missing.
19. Take creative photos.
20. Play “rock, scissors, paper” together.
Most importantly, find joy in the extra time you get to have with your kids!