11 Ways to Make Waiting in Line With Kids Easier

It's many moms' worst nightmare — being stuck in line with a tot in tow. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, children morph into screaming monsters, and the only way to tame the beast is to provide them with a little entertainment. But rather than pull out your iPhone to keep them calm, why not try something a bit more interactive. Next time you're stuck in line, try these games that hold their attention and allow you two to bond.

  1. Going on a Picnic — This game is perfect for the grocery store. Each player takes turns saying what they will pack for their picnic, alternating between the letters of the alphabet. For an extra challenge, have each person repeat the previously mentioned items.
  2. Spelling Bee — If your child has a spelling quiz later in the week, use the wait as a chance to test their skills. Or think of random words that they may or may not know how to spell.
  3. Sing a Song — Whether it's a chart-topper or a beloved lullaby, singing always keeps kids entertained. Just make sure to keep the volume on the lower side.
  4. Time to Rhyme — Your child may be a poet, but you don't even know it! Have them choose a word, then go back and forth listing words that rhyme. You can also take it to the next level by trying to make complete sentences or create an entire poem.
  5. Guess the Coin — Change-carrying moms, this one's for you. Have your child close their eyes and open their hand. Place a coin in their palm, and see if they can guess which one it is. If they're right, they can keep it!
  6. I Spy — You can't go wrong with a classic. Simply describe something nearby and have your child guess the object. If you're playing with several people, see who can guess with the fewest clues.
  7. Categories — Think Scategories but without the boards and buzzard. Choose a topic and a letter in the alphabet, and then take turns listing things that fall under that category. For example, if your category is, "food" and the letter is "B," you would say things like beans, broccoli, bread, etc.
  8. High-Low — Use this as an opportunity to talk to your kids by asking them to describe the high and low points of their day or week. Find out why the high point felt so good, and work through ways to keep the low from happening again.
  9. Dictionary — Take advantage of the magazine rack. Grab an age-appropriate read and search for some unfamiliar words. Have your child guess the meaning by using context clues.
  10. Thumb War — Kids will be at a disadvantage given their tiny hands, so try to go easy on them.
  11. Cookie Jar — Don't worry, moms; this game is all about silence, not sweets. Challenge your little one to see who can keep quiet the longest. Whoever speaks first is the one who breaks the cookie jar.