You're standing on line at the Department of Motor Vehicles on the last day you can renew your driver's license before it expires, or maybe you're waiting for dinner to arrive. Tugging on your hand is your 2-year-old, who thinks that four minutes of staying still has been more than enough. She's ready for ac-tion.
Although there's always I Spy and Simon Says, a little imagination can go a long way in making a wait more tolerable for your toddler. For instance, you could play:The song box
Fill a small plastic box, such as an empty baby wipes container, with strips of cardboard on which you've written the names of different songs. Shake it up, then let your child reach in and make a selection (no peeking). Together, sing the song she picked. Return it to the box when you're done, snap the lid, let her shake the box, and start again.
High five, low five
Put your hand up in the air and say "High five!" After your toddler slaps it, bring it to her knee level and say "Low five!" Next, with your palm down, say "Backside!" This time, pull your hand away before it's hit, saying "Too slow!" Toddlers unfailingly giggle and want to try again and again. Make sure you alternate "Too slow!" with "Oops - you got me!" periodically. Then give her a turn to try the sequence herself, with you slap-ping her hand.
The grab bag
Take along a bag of inexpensive playthings she's never seen before: a small board book, a new pad of paper and chunky crayons, a toy truck, some plastic animals. Let her pick one without looking, then play with the toys, draw pictures, or read along with you. (Depending on where you are, she may keep busy on the floor, so choose items that won't cause either of you heartbreak if stepped on.)
Two-year-olds adore nursery rhymes, so memorize a few with nonsense words such as "Hickory Dickory Dock!" and say them to and with your child. Then play with her expectations: Change a word here and there, or simply the first letter of some words ("mickory pickory sock"). She'll burst out laughing at the silliness, leaving both of you to enjoy how time flies when she's having fun.
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