Lola and Malone are 4 years apart and while it’s great when I can find activities they can both enjoy together, at the same time, it just isn’t always possible. Currently, Lola finds herself at the waiting end of the stick twice a week…. once while Malone is at American Ninja Warrior type Ninja School and once while he goes to vision therapy. Leaving her behind isn’t an option and along the way, I’ve gotten pretty great at helping her become great at hanging out in the waiting room.

Be prepared to entertain. 

I have sat in waiting rooms and longingly looked at the stack of magazines that I know I’ll never get to read. Maybe when Lola is in elementary school, she’ll be able to entertain herself. But as a preschooler, there are lots of times when she needs a little help.

This is our FAVORITE game/song to sing. We’re using Goldfish crackers for the colors, but you could use just about anything!

We also tell a lot of stories together… where we pingpong off of each other. I’ll start with “once upon a time there was a…..” and she’ll finish it. Then I’ll say a bit more and she’ll add to it too. It works really well for us and usually gives me a solid 10 minutes.

Talk about the fun things you’ll be able to do when you’re done waiting. 

I’ve found this one to be super helpful when we’re stuck waiting for big brother. Lola and I often dream together… we chat about what kind of travel we’ll do together, who she wants to have a play date with and what she wants to be when she grows up. I also find that it’s really helpful to talk about something fun that we’ll be able to do after we’re done waiting. Usually it involves playing a special board game or reading an extra bedtime story. Don’t be tempted to dangle a treat or reward in front of the waiting kid, unless you can follow through with it week after week. Kids are GREAT at remembering and associating things together. I know that if I did this, our vision appointment would start equaling going out for ice cream every week and that’s just not something I want to keep up with.

Pack snacks and water. 

This tip is a game changer for us. We are not a family that grazes, we eat three meals a day and have snacks as our body tells us that it’s hungry. Both of my kids listen to their bodies really well. And mama knows what it’s like to be hangry, so she always keeps a few snacks stashed in her purse (and a few more in the car). Malone’s vision therapy appointment is from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm, which means more often than not, Lola needs a snack. More often than not, it’s Goldfish. They come in a variety of flavors, we like them all.

Here’s what I like about them….

  • They’re always baked with real cheese.
  • There are no artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • The colors that make up Goldfish are sourced from plants.

Use the waiting time to practice being a good friend. 

Often times, the waiting room is filled with other kids (at Ninja) and patients (at vision therapy). This proves to be an excellent space to practice making eye contact when talking to someone, playing nicely and problem solving. Just last week, Lola had a great time with an older patient who was waiting for his therapy to start. She asked him about his home and she told him about the books she liked reading. It was a friendly conversation under the watchful eye of mama. But I know that it made a that guy’s day.

Get additional inspiration and ideas from multiple Goldfish crackers social media channels, specifically Pinterest!