An Entertaining Game To Help Kids Practice Waiting

When was the last time your were desperate for something, then you had to wait what felt like forever for it? It happened to me two days ago. And it was all over...wait for it...an elusive cup of coffee.

I flew across the country, and I didn’t get any coffee before I got on the plane. Then once I got off the long flight, there was a line to get the rental car. Then I was stuck in horrible traffic before I got to my final destination.

When I finally arrive, I’m thrilled and excited. But I’m also desperately looking around for a coffee place. I’m sure other people think something must be wrong, given the look on my face. Then I spotted it. The green and white angel. I had found a Starbucks.

I walk inside and I got in the longest line ever. For one brief moment, I imagined pushing my way through everyone shouting “It’s my turn first! I haven’t slept well in days! I’m on East Coast time and I haven’t had any coffee today! I NEED IT MORE THAN YOU!!!”

Goodness, that would be unexpected.

I was able to contain myself and wait my turn. We ask kids to wait all the time and it’s not fun. But what if we could have them try to wait for their turn in an entertaining way? You can do that by having them make their own memory game. This is a great activity for a play date or for family game night.

You will need:

  • Construction paper
  • One bucket of colored pencils, markers or crayons
  • Imagination :-)

Cut out 40 squares from the construction paper.

Draw the same image on two different pieces of construction paper. When you are done, you should have 20 pairs of images.

Need some inspiration? You can keep it simple like squares, triangles, hearts, moons, suns. Or get more creative, drawing patterns or pictures. Be creative and have fun - just make sure both images look the same!

You have to share and take turns with the colored pencils, markers or crayons.

Now it’s time to play Memory!

  1. Turn over all the squares - mix them up so the pairs aren’t next to each other!

  2. Decide who will go first.

  3. Take turns trying to find the pairs. On your turn, turn over two squares. If the squares are the same, you keep the pair. If you find a pair, you get another turn. If you don’t find a pair, it’s your partner’s turn.

  4. Keep going until all the pairs are found. The person with the most pairs wins!

The Social Connection

Kids practice taking turns when they are coloring  - maybe they are want to use orange and someone else is using it. They need to wait their turn.

Playing structured games like memory is a wonderful way to practice all sorts of social skills, including taking turns, patience, and winning and losing graciously.


P.S. I finally did get my cup of coffee from a lovely barista. And it was fantastic and so worth the wait.

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