How to make a long wait fun

The following is an excerpt from our new book Stuff Every Mom Should Know. We’re giving you little tastes of the book all week in hopes you will buy one to keep in your purse for just such situations. And one for the car.

Increasingly we all have smart phones loaded with apps, videos, and family photos to keep our kiddos happy. But doesn’t it always seem like the longest waits are unexpected when you’re totally unprepared?

Whether you’re standing in a long line or waiting for an eternity at a restaurant, here are a few mom tricks that can pass the time when that phone battery dies:

Finger puppets. Use a pen to draw some faces on your fingertips and create an impromptu finger puppet show.

Racetrack. Keep your pen out to draw a road or city scene on a piece of paper. Use coins from your purse as cars or characters in your adventure.

I spy . . .  Even little kids can catch on to this simple guessing game. Find an object and provide a hint: “I spy with my little eye, something that is blue” and everyone guesses. This oldie but goodie is perfect for waiting rooms and traffic jams.

Spoon on the nose. Need a classy distraction for a long wait at a restaurant? Look elsewhere. Wipe your thumb across the inside of a metal spoon, breathe hard on it (like you’re saying “HAH!”), then dangle it from your schnoz.

If you want to keep a small set of props on-hand for next time, stickers are a great, flat diversion and pair well with scrap paper and your pen.

Find Stuff Every Mom Should Know at Amazon.com. Fingers and race track by Heather Flett.

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RookieMoms co-founder & mom to 3 boys in Berkeley, CA. Bossy big sister and project manager turned blogger helping moms enjoy their first years of motherhood. Find me on my other site on 510families.com or hiding in my minivan eating dark chocolate.