Waiting rooms can be a nightmare with kids—especially if you haven't lugged a bag of entertainment for each and don't want to relinquish your smartphone.
Play the Magazine Game! I made this up about a year ago, and now my boys (5 and 3) look forward to waiting rooms. Every waiting room has a stack of magazines. I have my boys each pick a magazine. I take a quick flip through and find an easily identifiable image—like a car, a pumpkin, a robot. I give them the magazines and tell them each what image to find. Sometimes they make a race of it, sometimes they share the same magazine and help each other out, sometimes they look independently of each other, and sometimes I make it hard (but not too hard, or they lose interest). It's a fine line between time-filler and torment!
It can literally keep their attention for half an hour—even through an appointment, as it keeps them focused and quiet.
Hmmmm . . . focused and quiet—two adjectives I never expected I'd utter in regards to my boys.
And here's something else you should always keep on hand for those times you have to wait.