If you are the mom of small children, you've been there.
The waiting room, the checkout lane, the dressing room, the restaurant. Really just about anywhere will do.
The natives get restless, tempers start to fly and embarrassing moments start to roll.
In my limited experience as a mom, I have learned to utilize games as a distraction when things start to go south in a public place. If I remember to use one before things get completely out of control, they really seem to help.
Here are a few that work in our family and a few that I haven't tried yet, but plan to when the situation presents itself!
1. I Spy - My kids love this one. I usually start them off, "I spy something red." The guesses start coming until someone can tell me what red thing I was thinking of. Sometimes we let the winner of each round start the next one, sometimes we take turns.
2. Silly stories - One person starts a story, but only shares one sentence or one paragraph. Then everyone takes turns adding on.
3. The Quiet Game - This one is easy, and for some reason, they love it! Whoever stays quiet the longest wins. Sometimes this lasts minutes and sometimes only seconds, but it seems to be a fun distraction and quiet is quiet!
4. Poor Puppy - I found this game in Linda Dillow and Claudia Arp's book Sanity in the Summertime. I haven't used it yet, but I think my kids would have fun with it! One person is the puppy - they get to make faces. The other players take turns patting the puppy and try to say "poor puppy" three times without laughing.
How about you? What do you do when the meltdowns loom at inconvenient locations? I would love to add a few more ideas to my arsenal, I'm learning there can never be too many!