quick trick: keeping kids busy in line
This Quick Trick is one of those that works only when I use it only occasionally. It’s one that helps every so often to distract Maddy, Owen, and Cora from the actual task at hand–waiting in line.
Whether it’s at the grocery store, at Costco, or the bank, time in line can be brutal for little ones (and okay, let’s admit it–their over-tired parents).
The errands that once took 15 minutes sans kids often takes an hour with little ones in tow, and on days when there’s more than one stop, even the most simple errands can be brutal unless we plan ahead. And everyone knows that’s not always possible.
So while shopping last week for a new loaf pan for our Zucchini Bread, I desperately needed to pull out some tricks for passing time in the long line. Here’s what we did:
- Find Your (*insert body part*) First: Sounds crazy, a little questionable, maybe even a little inappropriate for passing time in line, but it works for my kids and it teaches them–or reminds them, in some cases–of the parts of their body.
Usually if there’s a half dozen people in front of me and tons of enticing impulse items on the shelves from me to the check-out, I’ll say, Okay, let’s see who really knows the parts of their body. . . find your ankle bone!
And if the items on the shelves aren’t too awesome, if the stars are aligned, and if the kids are listening, they’ll turn to me and really quickly touch their ankle bones. Or they’ll turn and look at me with complete and utter confusion, look at whoever found the said ankle bone and copy that person.
Sure–Maddy and Owen (and Cora mostly) know the major parts of their bodies–the kids are 6, 5, and 3 for goodness’ sakes. But I use the time in line to make sure they know some not-so-obvious parts, the parts that aren’t part of a catchy kids’ song.
I’ve had them ‘find’ the following body parts (and I always throw in some easies along with the toughies just to keep up morale!):
I’ve found that they like to show me they know the ‘tough’ ones and they like to learn new words for parts they already know. I haven’t hit them with ‘gluteus maximus’ yet, but I can imagine the giggles when I do. . .
And that’s that. An easy, spur-of-the-moment Quick Trick that takes no planning, little time, even less brain power, so that we (I) can actually make it from the line to checkout with some of semblance of sanity.
This list is hardly extensive. If you have a suggestion for a part I should add, let me know! Thanks and happy waiting in line!