Whether you’re in line at the grocery store, at the doctor office, at Disneyland or stopped in traffic, make things more enjoyable with these fun games to play while waiting with kids. Engaging with your kids will help time go by more quickly while captivating the mind of your children. I know it can be tempting to hand them a cell phone to keep them entertained, but I encourage you to spend time interacting with your kids in meaningful ways while you are waiting.
Fun Games to Play While Waiting with Kids
I want to share the names of the games first and then expand on them next:
- I Spy
- I Spy Alphabet Game
- Earn It
- Guess What’s Behind my Back
- Time to Rhyme
- The Counting Game
- Color Search
- Memory Verses
- Simon Says
Most people know the classic game, “I Spy.” Have the spy find something in the store. Once determined the spy gives a clue starting with, “I spy with my little eyes something that is…” It can be a shape, a color, a category or any clue that leads others to guess. People guess until they find the right item.
I Spy Alphabet Game
You can play the “I Spy Alphabet Game” a few different ways. First, simply look for the letters A through Z on signs, advertising, license plates and other printed materials. Second, look for only printed words that start with the letters A through Z. Third, look for the current individual letter you are teaching your child(ren) on printed material. In a grocery store, it might be finding as many G’s as you can. Finally, look for things that begin with a letter (not printed). For example, if you were searching for the letter G, you might notice gum, girls, gifts, etc. Come up with as many as possible.
I came up with this idea as I was waiting with my kids in line to see Santa. The line happened to pass by some candy dispensers – thank you very much mall organizing committee. Sorry all you organic mamas out there, but this is what I did. I bought some Mike n’ Ikes to give my kids, but they weren’t just handed out. They needed to be earned. “How?” You ask. Whisper the alphabet, get a Mike n’ Ike. Count to 100, a candy is yours. Jump up and down 50 times in one place – well earned. Say three things you like about their siblings – score. This can pass quite a lot of time.
Guess What is Behind My Back
Simply grab something out of the cart or from your purse and hide it behind your back. Have the kids guess what you have. They’ve seen you gather things from around the store. It is time to see if they were paying attention.
Time to Rhyme
This is simple enough. Just spot something around the space you are waiting and have your child try and see how many rhyming words they can think of.
The Counting Game
Counting stuff is a simple way to keep them occupied also. How many different kinds of gum can you find? How many shoes do you see? How many balloons?
Color Search is another option. “What items can you find that are blue?” Easy enough, right?
This is a great time to practice memory verses with kids. It can be a great witness to the people around you. One of my favorites for siblings and humanity in general is, “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” – Romans 12:10
I think we all know the classic game, but you might not normally think of it while waiting. To remind you, you give kids a command saying, “Simon says…” They only follow your command if Simon says.
Categories is a fun game I play with my kids – especially on road trips. One person thinks of a category. Everyone takes turns (in order) thinking of something in the category. If an item is repeated or if the person cannot think of something, they are out. Whittle it down to the last person. Possible Categories: Cartoon Characters, Fruits, Song, Clothing Items, Types of Cereals, Sports, etc.
All of these simple ideas will keep your kids from pulling all the magazines off the shelf while you’re waiting to check out. It might save you from insanity in lines at Disneyland. Your next time waiting for the doctor in the doctor’s office might not be so grueling. Road trips might become a little more engaging.
As always, I want to encourage you to make the time with your kids more meaningful and intentional.
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