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As a mom entrepreneur, you’re constantly on the hunt for work/life balance. No matter how hard you try there will inevitably be times when your “mommy” world and “entrepreneur” world collide. So what’s a girl to do when you’re stuck in a bank waiting line with three kiddos and a dead smartphone? Here’s 20+ games to play while waiting that will keep the kiddos distracted and YOU sane.
1) Funny Face Competition
Everyone takes turns making silly and zany faces to entertain the group. Especially fun when mommy joins in!
2) Creative Storytelling
Pull out three random items from your purse and dare the kids to tell you a story including them. Then let them vote on who told the best story.
Oldie, but goodie, “I spy with my good eye ….” Always a favorite!
No need to get technical with rules, just act out a person, movie, animal, saying, etc and let the children guess answers. With you doing the acting you can control how tame or unruly the game is.
5) Staring Contest
This is about as simple as they come. Just stare at each other and whoever blinks first loses. Depending on their ages this could last forever or 5 seconds.
6) Round robin Storytelling
Start telling a story with one sentence and then rotating to the right each kid adds a sentence. If you have creative kids with vivid imaginations this can be quite entertaining!
7) Lip Reader
Test your kid’s lip reading ability by mouthing phrases, words, songs and seeing who can guess what you’re (not) saying. The kids can get pretty serious with this one and they intently watch your lips trying to figure it out.
8 ) “What If…”
Get the creative juices flowing with this game. Pick a random object and add a “what if…” scenario and let your children guess the outcome. For example, “See that jar over there? What if it was full of marbles and someone knocked it over?” Let then problem-solve (or practice comedic improv) while they explain what would happen next.
9) Guessing Game
Using a bag (or ask one of the littles for their sock), hide an item from your purse in the bag and let them take turns guessing what’s inside. To kill even more time you can start by letting them only hear it first, then smell it, touch it, before finally shaking it.
10) Make a “fortune teller”
Ask the receptionist for a piece of paper and fold a “fortune teller” game and fill the boxes with fortunes, commands they must act out, or math problems they have to solve. (Forgot how to fold one? Click here)
11) Mirror, Mirror
Make a face, stand on one leg, or draw a simple picture. Whatever it is, the kids have to repeat it exactly step by step. Whoever “mirrors” best gets to lead next.
12) Simon Says
Alright, you know the rules. The kids can only follow commands that start with “Simon says…” If they follow a command that Simon didn’t say they’re out. Have fun with it and sneak in some hilarious commands that will make them squeal!
13) What’s Missing?
Grab five or so items from your purse and lay them out on the table in front of you. Give the kids 5 or 10 seconds to remember what the items are. Next ask them to close their eyes and you remove one of the items. Have them open their eyes and guess which item is missing.
14) Magazine Search & Find
Grab a magazine and pick out an object for the kids to search and find. For the younger set, keep the search to one page and pick bigger images. For the older ones, you can use the entire magazine for the search.
Tell a story and have the kids guess if it’s fact or fiction. Kids love storytelling so it’s always a hit for their eager little minds. Brush up on some Ripley’s Believe It or Not stories to really “wow” them.
16) Begins with, Ends with
Word game where you can vary the difficulty to fit the age group. For the young ones, start by saying a word. The next in line has to say a word that begins with the letter that YOUR word ended with. For example, if you said “Dog” the next player has to say a word that starts with “g”. To make it hard for the older kids, keep the words in the same category. In this case it would be animals. Great game for building vocabulary!
17) Zoo in You
This one can get a little noisy, but is always good for a laugh. Everyone takes turns making an animal noise and the others take turns guessing which animal it is. Let them have fun with it and guess what noise an anteater for example might make. Who knows, but it’s fun to guess!
Perfect for the active kiddos that need some physical stimulation. Grab a scrap piece of paper (or use one of the subscription postcards from the office magazines) and crumble up into a ball. Mom’s purse is the “goal”. Take turns tossing the ball into the goal and tally points. Keep moving the purse farther back to increase the difficulty of the game.
19) Go Shopping with Door #3
Using a magazine in the waiting area give your child 5 seconds to “go shopping.” Let them pick out a gift, then ask them if they want to keep it or go with the magical “door #3″ gift. Next you have 5 seconds to blindly flip through the magazine and point at something for the Door #3 prize. There’s no point to the game really, but the kids have a blast wondering what you’re going to pick for the magical prize. The second your finger hits an elephant or toilet I promise they’ll be rolling on the floor laughing.
20) Tic Tac Toe
Kids love this game and you can make it extra special by using random objects for the x’s and o’s. For example, let paperclips serve as the x’s and mints as the o’s. Whenever tots feel like they’re “breaking” the rules, games become doubly fun!
21) “How much?”
Have them take turns guessing how much change you have in your wallet. Whoever guesses the closest get to keep the loot. This works with other random objects in the room too- how many pencils, how many chairs, how many books. Just make sure they guess before they get to actually count!