As anyone who spends time with children already knows, kids get restless and bored when they have to wait for any period of time. Whether you are in charge of a doctor's office, dental office, or any other area where children may need to spend time waiting for an appointment, you know how important it is to have toys and other activities available. Here, we discuss the importance of waiting room toys and which products make the best choice for a well-equipped waiting room.
Why are waiting room toys important?
Aside from the obvious reasons - preventing hordes of screaming, running children from taking over your waiting area and driving other clients or patients away, there are other, more positive reasons for having entertaining and educational toys, books, and other activities to keep children engaged while they are waiting.
Children often become nervous and frightened about checkups or dental exams, and waiting for an extended period of time with nothing to do can increase their anxiety and make a doctor's visit an extremely unpleasant experience. On the other hand, if kids know that they will have a variety of interesting toys and games to entertain them while they wait, they become less anxious and may even look forward to spending time in your waiting room.
Selecting a variety of toys and activities for a range of ages can help keep little ones busy until it is their turn. Here are some suggestions for appropriate waiting room equipment:
- Play cubes and wall panel games - These toys offer a variety of manipulative and problem-solving games to keep younger children occupied, while teaching them at the same time. Tic-tac-toe games, rollercoaster bead mazes, counting beads, sliding puzzles, and matching games are a great way for little ones to pass the time - and there is no need to worry about clean-up at the end of the day.
- Wooden puzzles - Kids of all ages love puzzles, which are excellent for encouraging problem-solving skills. Wooden puzzles designed especially for the waiting room are durable and will last for years of constant use.
- Train tables - What child does not love a train table, complete with tracks, scenery, trains, and people? A sturdy, wooden train table offers hour after hour of creative play.
- Book shelves or book cases - A sturdy book shelf can hold a selection of books and magazines geared toward a range of age groups; children love to settle down on a caregiver's lap with a good book while they wait their turn.
- Tables and chairs - Kid-sized tables and chairs make your waiting room a welcoming place and provide a place to sit while coloring or working on a puzzle. Choose chairs and tables in bold colors to brighten up your waiting room.
You can find a great selection of waiting room toys and furniture from high-quality manufacturers such as Anatex here at A Kid Place.