What’s a mama to do when stuck in a long, long queue? Even as a grown up, even without a toddler in my arms, I admit I hate waiting in line. But waiting is a part of life and learning patience & delayed gratification is one of the most valuable lessons we can give our kids. Here are our best tips for keeping your tot happy while waiting in line!

  1. Play a game of Eye Spy! This is a mini scavenger hunt for the eyes. See if your little one can find all of the red things in the room. How about all the number 2s on a sign?
  2. Make silly faces together. You may not have time for much makeup, but you can put that compact mirror to good use.  Your little will learn muscle control and how to recognize emotional cues.
  3. Clap out a rhythm. If you tap twice quickly, can your kiddo repeat that beat? Try different sounds and speeds.
  4. Play a mini game of Follow The Leader. Encourage your tot to watch closely then repeat a movement the very best they can. Vary speed and size to keep it interesting!
  5. Guess the hand! Put a coin in one hand behind your back, then bring them back to have your little guess which hand the coin is in. Take turns hiding.
  6. Name your faves. Older toddlers will love to chat and bond with you over all their favorite things. What’s your fave color, number, animal, song, or snack to eat?
  7. Enlist the help of a toy friend. An old teddy bear becomes a perfect puppet when stuck in line. Give him a funny voice and let him tell your kiddo a short story!
  8. Pack a prop. A deck of cards or a few pipe cleaners can keep tiny hands busy while you wait. Best of all, they require little space and make no mess.
  9. Blow bubbles outside. Epic lines at theme parks are a breeze with these! Have your littles pop as many of them as they can!
  10. Get tech savvy with your voice recorder app! Kids will be mesmerized by hearing themselves in the play back. And don’t forget, you’ll make your parents day by sending them the undeniably cute audio clips afterwards!

(originally posted on Toddler Blog)

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