21 Tried and Tested Waiting Games for Kids to Pass the Time


#11. First One To Laugh

Everyone has to be silent and the first person to laugh loses the game. This inevitably descends into giggles all around!

Young Girl laughing

#12. Paper Catch

Take a small scrap of paper and drop it. Your child has to try to catch it with two fingers before it hits the ground.

Recommended Reading: 15 Fun Card Games for Kids

#13. Alphabet Names

A variation of Alphabet Zoo this time do girls names and boys names taking it in turns to run through the alphabet.

E.g. Alice, Barbara, Ciara, … or Adam, Ben, Charlie, …

#14. Hangman

Another classic, Hangman is a paper and pencil guessing game for two or more players. One player thinks of a word or phrase, and they write down a row of dashes representing each letter of the word or phrase. They can give a clue like “It’s a movie” or “It’s a famous book”. The other players try to guess it by suggesting letters.

If the guessing player suggests a letter which is in the word, the other player writes it in all its correct positions. If the suggested letter is not in the word, the other player draws one element of a hanged man stick figure, starting with noose, head, body, arms, legs, hands, feet. The word or phrase has to be guessed before the complete hanged man is drawn.


#15. Fortunately/Unfortunately

Start a story and then everyone has a turn where they have to add to the story starting their sentence with “fortunately” or “unfortunately” depending on the turn.

E.g. Once upon a time a man was walking down the road when he met a tiger. Unfortunately the tiger was very hungry. Fortunately the man had a pizza on him which gave the tiger… (and so on)

#16. Rhyming Pairs

Each player picks 2 rhyming words and then gives the other player(s) a clue to guess. For example, fat cat = clue chubby feline or hairy fairy = clue elf with a beard.

#17. Word Chain

Play word chain where one player starts and the second player has to come up with a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word.

For example, Star – Radio – Orange – Earring – Grape and so on.

#18. Thumb Wrestling

Start with each player placing their thumbs in mid air facing one another. With the right hand finger tips, grab your opponent’s fingertips and grab tight.

Bow to each other thumbs, say the verse “One, two, three, four / I declare a thumb war!” and you can add “Five, six, seven, eight / Try to keep your thumb straight!”

Then try to catch one another’s thumbs! The winner pins their opponent’s thumb for a set count of e.g. 5 or says the verse “One, two, three, four / I win the thumb war!”

thumb wrestling

#19. Tongue Twisters

Here are some of our favourite tongue twisters, see who can say them the most times without making a mistake!

  • She sells seashells by the seashore and the shells she sells are seashells I’m sure
  • Unique New York
  • Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

#20. Alphabet Imaginary Travels

Take it in turns to travel around the imaginary world taking with you items beginning with your letter of the alphabet.

For example, “I’m going to Aunt Annabel’s and I’m taking my Armadillo.” or “I’m going to the Bahamas and I’m taking my Blue Boots.”

#21. Simon Says

Take it in turns to be Simon who gets to instruct everyone to do something. If it starts with Simon Says the others have to do it, if you don’t say Simon says and they do it then they are out.

Some good commands while waiting are clap your hands, touch your nose, count to 10, stick out your tongue, stand on your toes, hop on one foot.

Over to you now! What are your favourites waiting games for kids? Share it with us in the comments below.

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