By Deborah Shelton

Going to the doctor is no fun–not for adults and especially not for kids. Not only is the impending meeting with the doctor a little scary, but also the time spent in the waiting room can be excruciating for young children. Here are a few fun and super simple ways to beat the waiting room boredom blues.

* Waiting rooms are filled with magazines. Use this time to help children practice their reading skills. Have your child read the headlines and text aloud to you (not too loud!).

* Play a simple game of Tic-Tac-Toe! Have a tournament: the best 3 out of 5 games wins…or depending on how long you’re waiting for the doctor, it could be the best 5 out of 7, or more.

* Bring along a gallon-sized Ziploc baggie and a few dry- erase or washable markers. Slip a sheet of blank paper or an entire magazine into the baggie. If you use a magazine, don’t tear out pages (even though most doctor offices receive free magazine subscriptions, it’s just not polite to tear them). Trace the magazine cover through the plastic. Wipe the baggie clean with a tissue and start over with a new picture.

* Try to stump each other with word scrambles. Use a pencil and piece of paper to rearrange the letters of a word, and then decipher them.

* Play Find-A-Feeling: Ask your child to look through a magazine and find a happy person. Discuss why they think the person is happy, sad, upset, etc., (ask them for examples such as facial expressions and body language). This will help your child recognize and acknowledge the feelings of others.

About the Author:
Deborah Shelton is the author of The Five Minute Parent:
Fun & Fast Activities for You and Your Little Ones. Visit The Five Minute Parent for fun rainy-day activities, family links, and a free email newsletter filled with craft ideas, guest articles, contests and so much more!