3 Tips to Teach Kids HOW to WAIT! Toddler and Preschool activities for patience and reading

Kids don't know how to sit still or wait in a line for anything so we have to teach them how! Instead of saying “have patience”, teach them the skills they need and teach them some reading skills.

Children are not born with patience, and we have to teach them how to distract themselves or else their inner regulation says “Let’s go! Let’s explore and touch or play with things.”

Think about it, when was the last time you had to wait in a line or in a waiting room and you didn’t use your phone. What did you do? How did you distract yourself? Maybe you picked up a magazine? Maybe you looked around at the pictures? Maybe noticed the patterns on the carpet or the walls?

Kids may do this too, but they have to be taught what are your expectations. For example, maybe you don’t want them crawling around on the dirty floor touching the broken tile, or maybe you don’t want them pulling out the rocks from the fake flower pot. So giving them activities to explore the room in safe and appropriate ways can make a big difference.

Here’s are three easy ways how:

1. Play a rhyming game. You say a word, then come up with as many words (real or made up) that rhyme. For example, rat, cat, lat. Or use one of the riddles in this book to get your child guessing while rhyming!

2. Play ‘eye spy’ game. The familiar ‘eye spy’ a color game is simple to pass the time, but have you ever thought about playing this game with letters? Play ‘eye spy’ a letter A. Can you find it?

3. Play ‘what am I?’ by picking something in the environment. Use describing words and clues like “I am something that is blue” or “I am something that is wide”. This helps with building new vocabulary too which is something that helps with reading comprehension.

As you can see all three ideas keep kids connected and engaged in the present moment. But don’t forget what will also be important is to be clear on your expectations. For example, maybe it’s okay with you that they walk around, or maybe you want them to stay near you or to stay sitting. It all depends on what you expect them to do. So before you get too far into the fun be sure to remind them of your expectations.

To learn more about the three key principles to get Behavior You Love check out this amazing resource put together by a certified early childhood educator.

Or for other fun ideas and activities use the search feature in our blog.