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What to Do While Waiting in a Line Up

May 26, 2013

What to Do While Waiting In Line with Children

Poco-Mothers-Day1The most popular rides and attractions always have the biggest line ups. Why not take this opportunity to entertain your kids while you wait? Some of the most memorable time I have spent with little people is in the car or in a line up. I think it’s because I have a captured audience.

Over the last two decades, I have told the little people in my life an ongoing story that we invented together. It would become the Story of Tonga, our very own Fairy Tale. We tell it over and over again, each time we add something new.

We started by inventing a location or setting for the story. Our story takes place in Tonga. This was an Island in the middle of nowhere in the Crystal Blue Sea. Tonga was a place only for children who are fashioned to be Princesses and Princes upon arrival.

The roads at Tonga are made from Candy. The enchanted forest was magical and full of animals. The trees of the forest grew the child’s favorite candy. The only adult allowed at Tonga was the Keeper of the Castle.

Whenever we were sitting in the car or “bored” standing in a line up or waiting for the Ferry or an airplane — to pass the time we would create new characters for our story and add in some more adventures.

Blog-Oak-Bay-Tea-Party-Mad-Hatter-and-Alice-300x225Often the animals in the story were mysteriously named after adults we knew and then the parents can be part of the story too. The kids decide what animal the adults would be – which was really interesting. My niece decided I was a Butterfly in the story.

Our story never ends. The children review the story each time we tell it again, before we add a new chapter. It starts out with, “So what happened the last time we were in Tonga?” It always surprised me how much of the story they remember, and how they giggled about the silliness of the story. You can see their delight as they recall the funny things which then became part of the story.

It has been one of the joys of my life to share this special time with the borrowed kids I have known. “Auntie, tell us about Tonga”, would bring me back to a magical time with these little people — a time that arose from boredom.

How to Create your Own Fairy Tale

Start the Story at the event; try using The Tea Party at Oak Bay.

“Once Upon a Time, in Willows Park, there was a little girl named Princess ___________________ (your daughter’s name) and a Prince named _________________ ” (your son’s name or their cousin or friend).

Blog-Oak-Bay-Tea-Party-Fairy-Tale-229x300“While watching the parade at the Oak Bay Tea Party, all of a sudden, _____________” (something happens). Let the child fill in the blanks. Help them along through the story, ask them “What happened next?

Ask them questions, like…”When the Prince rowed his Tea Cup into the Bay, with his crazy paddle what happened?” They will come up with the silly stuff on their own. It’s a very enjoyable way to pass the time in a line-up for the Ferry, or an amusement ride.

Add in the things you see… “There was giant fruit growing and Flying Elephants in Willows Park and ___________” (ask what they see).

“The Prince and Princesses could finally ride inside the giant Berries . While in the Berry Go Round Ride_____________ “(ask the child what happened?).

Let the kids take pictures of what they see while you wait. Photograph funny things, crazy hats, or costumes. I promise you at the Oak Bay Tea Party, you will see many peculiar things to photograph. These pictures become the conversation piece to tell the story later.

Encourage embellishment and imagination. If you see someone with a dog, you could ask the child, “If that dog was talking, what would he say?”

This is especially fun with four and five year old kids. It’s a great memory game. What a wonderful way to add to the memory of the time you have at the Oak Bay Tea Party which is a traditional family event happening on Vancouver Island for over 50 years.

blog-Oak-Bay-Fair-Tale-2-300x231The best part of this activity is when you are driving home and the kids remember what they did at the event and they add all the details that became part of their story.

Years later the kids remember the story because we all love Fairy Tales. Suddenly the Ride line up becomes a chapter in a story that never ends, and the waiting becomes a fun experience for all of you.

What an imagination the family had who invented the story about talking cats, rabbits that were late for very important dates and time with the Mad Hatter.

Encourage your child to become “______________________ (their name) in Shooting Star’s Wonderland” this story will pass the time while standing in line.