No one likes to wait, right? And having to wait with twin toddlers in tow can be considered a rare form of torture.
My twin girls are now 6 1/2, and I still employ some of the “entertainment” techniques I used when they were toddlers when we find ourselves waiting somewhere. For us, this made standing in line at the grocery checkout [mostly] bearable, and waiting in the pediatrician’s office not [quite] so torturous.
Here are my top five tips for waiting patiently with the littles.
Put your hands… The girls could be “entertained”, at least long enough for me to unload the grocery cart, with a game of “put your hands”. “Put your hands on your head.” “Now put your fingers in your belly button.” “Put one finger in your ear and one on your nose.” “Do you have pockets? Put your hands in your pockets.” This makes me laugh now to remember, but I tried to dress the girls in something with pockets if we were going grocery shopping. They LOVED to put their hands in their pockets, and it kept their hands from touching everything in the checkout line!
Pick a square. This gem still serves me well in public restrooms (ICK!!!). I’ll tell the girls to look around and pick their very favorite square of tile to stand on. Or, “Put one foot on one square, and your other foot in a different square.” “Can you reach your feet across four squares?” “Can you both stand on the same square?” My kiddos are six and they still love to tell me how many squares they can stretch across. (Knock yourselves out, girls…as long as you don’t fall down in the public restroom…ICK!!!)
I spy. Our girls loved to play “I Spy” with a magazine or book while we waited in a doctor’s office. We’d look for certain colors, animals, shapes, letters. As our girls grew, this game evolved. “How much does this cost?” asked in the checkout line, was a great way for them to practice numbers.
Sign language. We did Baby Sign Language with our girls, and they loved to show off their stuff. It would buy me some time to run through the list of words they knew. “How do you sign ‘cow’?” “How do you sign ‘book’?” “Now, ‘book’, ‘ball’, ‘book’?” Cue laughter. (And a couple of times this led to me meeting someone who spoke ASL…that was super cool for the girls to experience!)
Fill in the blanks. We’ve all read the same books 1,459,297 times, right? Especially with rhyming books, I found I could recite them quite easily, and the girls LOVED to fill in the blanks. “‘A’ is for apple that I like to (bite), ‘B’ is for (bear) whom I cuddle at (night).” Songs are also fair game here. “Mary had a little (lamb), it’s fleece was white as (snow)”. And throwing in something silly, mistaking that Mary had a little “horse”, for example, would keep our girls in good spirits.
Waiting with twin toddlers (or twin six-year olds) is not something I relish most of the time, but we usually find a way to occupy ourselves…have some fun…and maybe even learn a little something.
Do you have any tips and tricks to share for when you’re found waiting somewhere with your littles? We’d love to hear!
MandyE is mom to 6 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls. She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.