Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Having Fun at the Doctor’s Office

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Yes. Seriously. It is one of my goals in life to make doctor’s office appointments fun. In Egypt, it’s often a long wait. And it’s ok if I am alone but it’s really a struggle to enjoy them when my kid is with me. And kids this young get sick often and need lots of checkups, vaccinations, etc.

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[Photo, “untitled” by Photophoría, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.]

So here are my top tips (I developed these when I was trying to distract my kid from breastfeeding
And/or iPad as her “fun” during doctor appointments). My past couple of months were full of doctor appointments and lab and imaging appointments sometimes lasting 2 hours or more of waiting. If my kid is well enough to play, here are things I do…

Balloons
They take up virtually NO SPACE in your pocket or bag, and you can carry about 10 with you. Kids (not just your own) will enjoy watching you blow one, and gravitate to play with your kid, at which point you blow more so each kid has their own and don’t fight over the balloons. Granted, they may have something contagious and pass it on to your kid, but that was gonna happen anyway, yes? And granted, they will put the mouth of the balloon in their mouths (ugh) but you can let their own parents blow their balloons for them (not much better)

Sitckers
Again, take up very little space, and can offer variety and make your kid and other kids have fun

Egg surprises or blind bags
These don’t have to be new ones, just old plastic ones you fill up with little toys and let your kid discover

Aluminium foil
No really (assuming it is safe to play with) – my kid loves pretending to wrap stuff as a gift inside one of those

Run and sing (where appropriate)
Depending on the place, you can run after your kid and other kids again will gravitate towards you and want to play. Sing instead of showing them songs on an iPad

Read, of course…
I take books with me but also sometimes read to her from the magazines at the doctor’s office

What do you do?

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