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How to Entertain Kids at the Pediatrician's Office

BabySugar Diaries: How to Entertain Tots Waiting For the Doc

There are few things I despise more than waiting. Like most mamas, I try to squeeze appointments between school runs, work obligations, and my children's play schedules. So when I am forced to sit waiting at the doctor's office, I spend much of the time thinking about where else I'd rather be.

We've been spending a lot of time in doctors' offices these days as my younger son goes through a battery of tests to pinpoint a suspected food allergy. I've learned that kids spend waiting times looking for ways to get into trouble. While I try to fill my bag with Mary Poppins-like distractions, I've also discovered a few "homegrown" activities to pass the time.

  • Tap a tune. Grab a few tongue depressors and start tapping to the beat of your favorite song. Your makeshift drumsticks may even inspire you to create a new song.
  • 99 Luftballons. When filled with mama's hot air, doctors' rubber gloves make great balloons. Fill a few and start batting them around. Give a few fun high fives. Start a rousing rendition of "This Little Piggy". The novelty of the balloons will help pass at least a few minutes.
  • iSpy. The doctor's office offers up plenty of new objects (especially shiny ones) to fuel this game.
  • Guess the weight. Infant scales are especially sensitive, which make them ideal for measuring the weight of objects in mama's purse.
  • Obstacle course. Line up some tongue depressors (again, these are the workhorse of the pediatrician's office), paper cups, cotton balls, and anything else you might find to create a one-of-a-kind obstacle course. Have your lil one walk on the sticks, jump over the cups, and hop onto the cotton balls. If time is still lagging, start timing how fast they can complete the activity.
Join The Conversation
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
I always have my daughter pack one of her backpacks full of toys she picks, and then stick in toys I know she is likely to play with longer. I grew up doing this - books, toys, and whatever I was interested in. Obviously those move onto go handheld games, music players, etc as they get older, but we alawys had to pack our own stuff to keep ourselves amused and it worked out pretty well. I'll be doing that. I just spent 3 hours in the doctors office the other day because the receptionist told me the incorrect time and the office is 1 1/2 hours away from home, and she convinced me to stick around to be fit in.. yeah right. ugh.
Carri Carri 6 years
There's always the trusty favorite book or toy. Heck, even an iPod is a better idea than taking medical supplies.
snarkypants snarkypants 6 years
okay, even if this is for waiting in the office, i really don't think it's a good idea to be taking supplies and playing with them! it's really wasteful, and i don't know if the other patients would love that random people are grabbing things with their bare hands. plus, like the anonymous posters said, not a good thing to teach your child! there are a million other things you can bring from home!
Rebecca-M-Gruber Rebecca-M-Gruber 6 years
SnarkyPants - I don't think I was clear - these are all activities we do in the exam room when we are waiting, not in the waiting room!
snarkypants snarkypants 6 years
wow. a lot of these tips are all super-obnoxious. other people do exist! not sure if everybody else in the waiting room would appreciate your obstacle course.
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