Teaching Patience: How to Help Children Wait



I started this post before Baby B was born. He’ll be 6 weeks old tomorrow and I’m finally getting back to it. =)

Here I am at 40 weeks, 5 days preggo and counting! My little boy is apparently quite cozy where he is, unaware of how anxious his daddy and I are to meet him.

While I’ve been told to be patient, enjoy the time and rest while I can, it’s not always so easy. Patience is a tricky thing when faced with an unpredictable wait. If it’s this hard for me (a grownup) to be patient, how must it be for children?

Toddlers and preschoolers are just beginning to learn about self control and patience – important life skills that many adults haven’t yet mastered. So, what’s a parent to do when their 2-year-old is having a hard time waiting for breakfast or wants to run around rather than wait in line at the bank? How can we support children when they need to be patient and wait?

Have Realistic Expectations

As a parent, you know your child’s limits better than anyone. Is it getting close to lunch or nap time? Has your active child had enough time to run around today? Your child’s mood, temperament and comfort level affect how successfully she can wait. Keep these things in mind when planning your day.

Acknowledge Feelings

Say something like, “We’ve been waiting a long time. Sometimes it’s really hard to wait.” Or, “I can see that you are very hungry and you’re having hard time waiting for me to finish making lunch.” Simply acknowledging your child’s feeling can help him feel better. Follow up with one of the tactics below to help him cope.

Explain Time in a Concrete Way

Time is an elusive concept for children – and some adults! Explaining time in a concrete way can help kids understand how long they must wait. For example, help your child count down the number of bedtimes left before the special day. Or, count the number of kids in line for the swing. Understanding when the waiting will end may make it a little bit easier.

Set Up for Success

Come prepared. Bring snacks, water, a book and a toy while you’re out and about. Consider keeping a couple of special things in your bag that only come out during times that your child is getting antsy in public.


If you’re waiting too, use the time to bond with your child.

  • Have a conversation.
  • Play peek-a-boo.
  • Whisper secrets to each other.
  • Play a quiet game of I Spy.
  • Give your child a simple task (counting how many types of fruit are in the shopping cart, for example).
  • Offer a paper, bank deposit slip or a piece of junk mail to doodle on (preschoolers love credit card offers).

Take a Deep Breath

While these ideas can help, there will inevitably be times when your child is just having a hard time waiting. In those cases, take a deep breath. Remember, we all have trouble being patient sometimes. Like me – right now….

What tricks do you use to help your child wait patiently?


Baby B is Here!

It’s been mighty quiet at SingDancePlayLearn lately – and for good reason! After 41 weeks & 2 days (including 60 hours of labor – yikes!) Baby B is finally here!

Before he was born, I heard a lot of things like “You’re so prepared!” and “You’ll be great – you have so much experience already.” It’s true – I do have a lot of practical skills when it comes to caring for children. What I couldn’t prepare for were the intense emotions that come with caring for my own child.

Sometimes I look at him and just start to cry. Sometimes I can’t believe that he’s 6 days old already and wish time would slow down – I want to revel in each moment. Sometimes I wish I could just sleep and have my body feel normal again – or at the very least find a diaper that doesn’t leak. Each and every moment, I feel incredibly grateful and blessed to have my little boy in my life.

While things might continue to be quiet around the blog while my hubby and I enjoy our babymoon, I look forward to sharing more about Baby B, creative activities for kids (and babies!) and my transition into motherhood soon.


Songs and Rhymes for Babies

A baby plays a song on the keyboard.Working songs and rhymes into your daily routine is a a wonderful way to bond with your baby while supporting his or her development. Below, I’ve collected a few of my favorites for you. I plan to use all of these with my baby boy when he arrives!

Songs and Rhymes for Babies

  • Round and Round the Garden is a simple chant suitable for newborns and up.
  • This Little Piggie was a favorite of mine as a child. I like to replace the lyrics “roast beef” with whatever the child likes to eat.
  • This video teaches three great songs.  The first is the classic chant Pat-a-Cake. Sometimes I say the child’s name instead of “Baby”and prefer to end with a tummy tickle.
  • Big Fat Hen (at 35 seconds) is a simple counting song that you can continue from infancy through preschool. Toddlers and preschoolers can move their own bodies or move a teddybear.
  • London bridge (at 1:05) is a classic children’s tune for babies and beyond. This video shows movements to use with your baby and toddler.
  • Tic Toc is a new favorite of mine. Sing to your newborn while she is one her back, tickling gently on each “Cuckoo!” Use the motions in the video for babies who are ready. Toddlers and preschoolers can use their own bodies or do the motions with a teddy bear.
  • Baby’s Lullaby (song at 1:20) is a lovely tune I recently discovered. It’s a wonderful bedtime song to rock your baby to!

A mom holds up her baby.Tips for Using Songs and Rhymes with Your Baby

  • Take Baby’s development into consideration when adding the motions to these songs. Be gentle and supportive with newborns. Make any “tickles” less surprising. As babies grow, they will come to enjoy larger movements and more surprises.
  • Read Baby’s cues. Is she making eye contact? Is she turning away? Adjust your voice and motions to meet her needs.
  • Sing often. The more familiar your baby is with the songs the more he will enjoy them. Set aside a few minutes each day for some special music time together. Your baby will look forward to these times and learn through repetition.
What are your favorite songs to sing with babies? How do you work them into your day?