I see bored children every day. Often, their parent has brought nothing for them to do during an expected wait. Occasionally I see very happy children who are disappointed that it is time to finish the activity that their innovative parent started while the family was waiting. Portable video games, books and DVD players are an obvious choice but there are lots of other options, most of which are free and require only a little attention from you.
Colors: Work on learning colors if your child does not know them all. If your child knows several colors, you can ask questions about colors like What color is the sky? grass? the car? and a firetruck? Kindergarteners through tweens enjoy a good game of I spy.
Animals and their sounds are a fun game for toddlers. If it is dark or you can turn off the lights and talk about animals that are more active at night with preschoolers. Elementary students can take turns naming animals that fit into categories such as larger than a person, ocean creatures, walks on 2 feet, eats plants, etc. Don’t forget about different names for males, females and babies.
All ages can enjoy a good game of “What am I?” (AKA 20 Questions). Thinking of good objects for your audience is key with this game. A dog is just right for a beginner and a platypus is a fair challenge for an advanced player.