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20 Waiting Games for Kids (+ FREE PRINTABLE)



In the car, at the grocery store, waiting in lines... Your kids are out of patience with the waiting and you don't want to pull out a screen. Here's a list of games to keep in your back pocket to make waiting more fun. Free printable at the end!



WOULD YOU RATHER

This is my personal favorite! It always gets us laughing. Little ones will crack up at the crazy choices, and older kids will enjoy the challenge of coming up with their own wacky questions.


Take turns asking each other "Would you rather..." questions that have two silly or difficult choices. Here's a classic to get you started: "Would you rather be able to fly or go invisible?"


This is especially great for kids who are non-verbal and able to indicate choice one or choice two.


WHAT'S MISSING

Here's a great one to play while waiting at a restaurant. Take 3 - 5 items and lay them on the table in front of your. Cover with a napkin and then ask kids to close their eyes while you remove one item. When they open their eyes, lift the napkin and see if they can figure out what's missing.


I SPY

A classic! One person picks something they see and says "I spy with my little eye something..." followed by the color of the object. The other person then tries to guess what it is!


GUESS WHO

Pick a character from your kids favorite movies or shows. Other players can then take turns asking yes or no questions to figure out the character.


GUESS THE NUMBER

This is another simple game that kids can start playing when they are quite young. Younger kids will enjoy playing with a small range (pick a number between 1 and 10 or 1 and 20) and then as they get older you can stretch it to bigger ranges, giving "higher" or "lower" hints as they guess.


PROPS

Grab an object - could be anything from your bag or that you find laying around. Take turns holding the item and making up outrageous things it could be. For example, you could say, "This may look like an ordinary spoon, but it's actually a shovel for mice!"


ALPHABET GAME

This game works best as a collaborative game when kids are getting younger. As kids get older, you can take turns.


Pick a category (animals, foods, movie characters, etc.) and take turns naming things that start with each letter of the alphabet. There are two ways to simplify this easy waiting game for younger kids: The first is to simply take turns naming anything within a given category and not bother with going in alphabetical order. The second way is to skip the category, but stick with the alphabet by saying any word that starts with your letter.


STORY CHAIN

Take turns adding sentences to a story and enjoy the zany twists and turns the plot takes! Make it even more wacky by taking turns adding only one word at time. Speaking of wacky, here's another twist to a storytelling game...


FORTUNATELY / UNFORTUNATELY

This is a favorite waiting game in our house. Add a silly twist to story chain by alternating sentences that begin with "fortunately" and "unfortunately." Kids will love thinking up outrageous ideas to get your characters out of sticky situations.


LICENSE PLATE ALPHABET GAME

As you ride in a car, bus or train, spot letters on license plates or billboards in alphabetical order. On shorter drives or for younger kids, you can write out the alphabet and have them cross out letters as they find them rather than searching in alphabetical order.


RHYMING WORDS

Take turns thinking of words that rhyme with a chosen word.


PERSON PLACE OR THING

Think of a person, place, or thing and have others guess it by asking yes or no questions.


GOING ON A PICNIC

Start by saying what you're bringing on a picnic, then each person repeats what was said before and adds their own item. For example:


1st person: I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing pickles.

2nd person: I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing pickles and napkins.

3rd person: I'm going on a picnic and I'm bringing pickles, napkins, and cookies.


See how long you can keep it going!


JOKES

Take turns making up knock knock jokes or bring along a book of jokes to take turns reading aloud.


GUESS THE WORD (HANGMAN ALTERNATIVE)

Instead of the traditional "hangman" drawing, I prefer to draw flowers as my child guesses wrong answers. Pick a word in your head and then draw a dash for every letter in your word. Your child can then guess letters until they figure out the word. For each wrong guess, draw part of a flower.


DOTS AND BOXES

Draw a grid of dots on a piece of paper. Players take turns connecting two dots with a line. If a player completes a box, they get to put their initial inside and draw another line. The player with the most boxes at the end wins.


SCAVENGER HUNT

Find something that can be seen from where you are standing/sitting and ask your kids to find it.


THREE SECTIONED CREATURE

Fold a paper into three sections. Without letting anyone else see, the first person will draw a head in the top section The second person will draw the body in the middle. The third person will draw the legs. Unfold to reveal your silly creature!


DRAW MAZES

Draw a maze for the other person to solve.


GUESS THE LETTER

Close your eyes and have someone draw a letter or symbol on your palm with their finger. Guess what they drew!




FREE PRINTABLE

Available in color or black and white.









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