Early Literacy in Everyday Places: The Waiting Room


Whether you are waiting for the dentist, the doctor or the veterinarian, use the time spent in the waiting room as another opportunity to work on early literacy skills with your child as well as calm their fears about the visit. Don't forget that these books can count for your 1000 Books Before Kindergarten log.

Ideas for babies

Ideas for toddlers

  • Bring books to read with your child. Many waiting rooms now have their own little library for young ones. Explore the books and see if you can find an old favorite.
  • Talk to your child about why you are there and what will happen during the visit.
  • Bring some paper and pencils and let your child draw a picture of what they see in the waiting room.
  • Play a matching game. "Can you find something in this book that is blue like my shirt?"
  • Froggy goes to the Doctor cover  Froggy Goes to the Doctor by Jonathon London - J Picture Book London
  • Curious George Visits the Dentist cover Curious George Visits the Dentist by H.A. Rey - J Picture Book Rey

Ideas for preschoolers

  • Play rhyming games. Say one word and have your child find a word that rhymes.
  • Talk to your child about why you are there and what will happen during the visit.
  • At this point, your child may have their own list of questions for the doctor. Help them write out their questions for the exam.
  • Bring paper and pens and let your child draw or scribble while you wait.
  • Count the number of chairs in the waiting room. Have your child tell you how many chairs of each color they see.
  •  A Trip to the Doctor by Deborah Lock - (J Nonfiction 618.92 Lock)
  •  I'm Getting a Checkup by Marilyn Singer (J Nonfiction 618.92 Singer).