Long lines and toddlers seem to go together like eggs and ice cream. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Here are a few tips I’ve learned throughout the years that make waiting in a long line fun for both you and your kids.
A Bag of Tricks: I’ve learned to keep a few fun items in my pocket or backpack at all times. They have become my go-to objects when both my children and I have had about enough. A small pack of crayons and a notepad can occupy children for hours. I also keep a book of age-appropriate puzzles and mazes as well as some sheets of stickers and a few toys handy to help occupy my children when the coloring gets boring.
Game Time: Vocal and visual games are great for toddlers. One of our family favorites is “I spy with my little eye…” This game requires children to use their surroundings. If you are unfamiliar with the game, the rules are fairly simple: You or your child will go first and pick something out of the crowd; you’ll say, “I spy with my little eye something purple.” And you or your child will then have to guess until the (in this case) purple item has been spotted. Then you switch turns. Another games we love to play is Simon Says; playing this game in a line allows children to get a little bit of energy out while listening to instructions and paying attention; it’s sure to get lots of smiles and giggles – and, who knows, maybe others within the line will participate too!
Sustenance: Don’t forget to have snacks and water. Your child might get grumpy because they are not only bored, but they’re hungry too. Bring a snack that’s healthy and nutritious but without too much sugar to offer your child during long waits in line.
Use these simple tips and tricks to keep your toddler happy while waiting in a long line.
Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, father of 6, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. He is also the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds and daddy gear for dads, and the Daddyscrubs.com blog where he covers topics about parenting and the latest baby and kids gear, all from a Dad’s perspective.