Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How to Pass Time While Waiting in Line

By: Lindsey
Lines can be tortuous for children. Let’s be honest. Lines can be no fun for people of all ages. I hate standing in lines. They can be boring. They can sometimes move SO slowly. And let’s not mention those people who have no sense of personal space. When those people are behind me, I tend to exaggerate my hand motions when I talk. Did my elbow get you in the stomach? Yeah, buddy. You are too close. 
Depending on the week you choose to stay at Disney, your wait time can be non-existent, moderate, or it can be downright painful. Here are some things that you can do while you are waiting in line to help pass the time. 
For Smaller Children:
  • Interactive Songs (quietly sung) – Songs like “Itsy-Bitsy Spider” and “Pat-a-cake” can help pass the time by. Pinterest has some great suggestions for other songs and hand motions as well. Anniston loved these types of songs when she was smaller. They could have entertained her for hours if I would have been able to stand it. ;) While waiting in line, sing favorite ones or learn new ones! 
  • Find Shapes – The queues at Disney are entertaining and interactive for most rides. They have details that enhance the ride experience. Use the time to look at your surroundings and work on shape recognition. You can have them look for a specific shape or practice labeling shapes that they see. I always love look & find games. 
  • Hide & Seek – I know what you are thinking, “How in the world do I play hide & seek in a line?” Well, you can’t play the traditional hide & seek, but you can create a version of it for waiting in lines. Take a coin or some other small object and take turns hiding it in different spots that move with you as you go through the line. You can hide it in your clothing or bag. Then let your little one guess where it’s hidden.
  • Practice Letters/Phonics – Like I mentioned above, most rides have themes even while you are waiting. Most of them have posters or art or other things like that. Find letters of the alphabet and work on letter recognition. Or if your child already knows the letters, give them the sound the letter makes and ask them to find that letter near you. You’ll be surprised at what you see when you are looking around!
  • Working on identifying numbers – Same as the letters above. While the numbers won’t have sounds to identify, you can still make fun games with identifying numbers.
  • I Spy – Look around and play I Spy. With so many things to look at, it won’t be hard to find lots of things to kill time. You can also download our free I Spy printable to take with you! There is one for each park that has lots of different things to spy!
For Older Children:
  • Hidden Mickey’s – Have you read about Hidden Mickeys at Disney? If not, here is a great article. These are a great way to pass the time; they are everywhere!
  • Practice Reading – This is something that we definitely do. Anniston is still learning to read (she’s working on longer words now) and she loves to try to read everything she sees. We practice reading signs, posters, and, well, everything. If we don’t have anything around us, we’ll pull out our smartphone and type sentences in the notes. We create fun little stories and then she reads them to us. We’ll also flip that around and make her type out a few sentences for us to read. It helps her read and practice “writing.” If you don’t want to have your phone out on vacation, pack a few small readers in your backpack.
  • Sight Words – Flash cards will easily fit into your backpack. You can also the words around you. There are several games to play with flash cards. You can make two sets (we make our own) and play a “go-fish” or “old-maid” type game. There are so many more.
  • Practice Numbers – If you child is ready and hasn’t already started simple addition and subtraction, while you are waiting in line is a good time to introduce the concept. Or if you are already working on this, it’s a good time to practice. We started out using our fingers, “If I have five {showing one hand} and I add three more {showing three on the other hand}, how many do I have now?” Anniston saw it as a fun game and we did this forever. She mastered that pretty quickly so then we took our hands away and made it more challenging. We also took things like the number of people in front of us (staying within the range that she could currently understand) and made fun little games while working on our math skills.
  • Interactive Queues – The Imagineers have done incredible updates to a lot of the rides. Have you seen the queue at Dumbo? It’s amazing! Each year, during a ride’s refurbishment period, they are adding more and more interactive elements to the waiting queues. Winnie the Pooh has a great one! So does Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Keep the lines moving, but also give your kids time to explore the interactive queues. They have some pretty neat stuff!
  • Finding new things – If you’ve taken several trips to Disney, you probably think you’ve seen most things on rides. You most likely haven’t. Make it a point for you and your kids to try to find things you’ve never noticed before. Disney is great at adding little details in places you’d never expect. This is one of my favorite things about Disney!
  • I Spy - Look around and play I Spy. With so many things to look at, it won’t be hard to find lots of things to kill time. You can also download our free I Spy printable to take with you! There is one for each park that has lots of different things to spy!
  • Storytelling – I love to read and love all kinds of books. I’m not great at storytelling, but Anniston loves it. Take time to find a detail in line and create a story around that detail. You can even find a person and make up a whole story about how they got to Disney and what they are doing on their vacation. Make up stories about some of the lesser known Disney characters. The options are endless. Anniston loves a good story and when we work together to create it, she’ll be entertained as long as the story continues.
  • Tell Jokes – Okay. This is an option for some kids. Mine, on the other hand, can’t tell a joke to save her life. If your kid likes jokes, make this the time for them to practice. Or you could even surprise them with a joke book that you keep in your backpack. Not our cup of tea, but I know a lot of kids that would enjoy this!
These are just a few of the many things that you can do while you wait in lines. Waiting in line doesn’t have to be a bummer part of the vacation. You could also use these while waiting for a parade, a bus, a ferry or whatever you are waiting on. Be intentional and make it fun! That’s what Disney is for – making fun memories!
What do y’all do to pass the time in lines?

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