It’s no surprise that the doctor’s or dentist’s office can be a nerve-wracking trip for many children and the waiting room is often the most distressing area of all. A child’s imagination can prove to be a huge barrier to a pleasant visit. However, with a few simple elements, imagination can also make the time fly. That’s why it is so important to create a relaxing and engaging space when designing your waiting area. This series of articles is designed to inform you of all the products that can help to transform your waiting room into a fun, interactive and educational space.
Space or lack there of, is certainly an issue for many waiting rooms. However there are some simple solutions that will allow you to fill the room with engrossing activities without crowding the floor. Wall panels and activity tables will provide hours of fun and require little clean up at the end of the day. This also allows for increased flow of activity without any “traffic jams.” Not only can you include more of these in the office, but multiple children will be able to use them at once.
Activity cubes, are a great way to use your precious floor space to the fullest. With a total of five possible activities this type of waiting room toy can easily entertain four children at once and often more. Another bonus to the cube is that each panel contains an educational activity that will help expand the child’s mind as he or she plays. Whether it is a bead maze that helps concentration and motor skills or a game that helps with tactile learning, activity cubes are sure to be a winner among the kids. Our favorites in this area are the circle of fun table by Anatex and the Happy Trails Sand Table by educo.
If floor space is simply not an option for your waiting room, why not try wall panels? Wall panels take up little space and provide decoration and entertainment all in one. These panels infuse any space with bright and friendly colors and often feature themes that are sure to spark the imagination of your patients. You can also be sure that these panels contain educational activities from mazes to fun mirrors there are a vast array of options that will satisfy both parent and child. Favorites in this area include the Outer Space Wall Panel and the Hands on Wall Toy.
Space doesn’t have to be the deciding factor in creating a relaxing waiting room. With these options your waiting room can make a child’s visit a pleasant one.
Part of designing the perfect waiting room, is creating a personalized space for children. And while toys play a very important role, they are not the only factor that will determine your success. Atmosphere is based on more than just the diversions that are available; children’s furniture and rugs will help tremendously in making a child feel comfortable. Here are a few things to consider when creating a family friendly environment.
Children’s furniture will go a long way in creating an inviting space for a child to explore. You can certainly find upholstered furniture for this but if you need something that is a little more durable, foam seating is a sensible option. There is a great variety of foam furniture that is perfect for toddler aged children. These pieces are typically covered with a vinyl material which means easy clean up for you and no sharp edges for the kids. A little soap and water and you’re good to go for the day.
Rugs and mats are another easy way to define as play area. They come in all shapes and sizes and can promote learning as well. Activity mats, in particular, are designed to engage children in subjects that range from learning the alphabet to telling the time. These rugs can also help define your theme for the room. Looking for aquatic decor? Choose an rug with an under the sea theme.
And if you’ve found a rug you like, there’s bound to be a perfect play table to go with it. Play tables are a wonderful option because they are self-contained. That means no clean up or trying to find impossibly small pieces for you. These tables are large enough for two or three children to play together which means less work in keeping everyone happy. But as great as these things are, it is a good idea to have options for less active children.
A good book never goes out of style and special bookshelves can be another great addition to play area for children who would rather spend their time reading. There are many wonderful bookshelves that are easily accessible and designed with children in mind. A farm house bookshelf would make a wonderful centerpiece for you barnyard themed play area. And if space is an issue, you can use the shelving for more than just books. It can become the perfect storage area for some of the more portable toys. These are just a few ideas for furniture pieces. A little investigation will reveal that the sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing furniture. There’s something for everyone no matter what direction you would like to take.
A child not having anything to stimulate their imaginations with, or physically occupy their levels of energy, is like trying to run a car with water. It just doesn’t work. Ever experience the result of a terribly bored child at the dentist or doctor’s office while waiting for an appointment?
I think we all have memorable moments of this and have started to search for just about anything to entertain our children with to help ease these moments of impatience. The difference between the car and the child is quite simple, the car doesn’t make shrilling, whining, noises and run around the building, it just stops. Unlike a child that keeps going and going and going, like the Eveready bunny. Until they find something that entertains them for the time being kids are going to try and entertain themselves.
This makes pediatric waiting room toys a life saver for parents and others throughout the office where children will frequently be sharing that same waiting room as adults. These toys can also help the child forget about the experience they are about to encounter, especially if it’s with a doctor or dentist. Not many children like these type of visits so placement of furniture and a children’s toy are of extreme importance to both the parents and the doctor who will be attending to the child. There are hundreds of places waiting room furnishings and toys make sense.
For the same reason drive-ins had playgrounds this concept can be expanded across many types of business. When dad has to take the car in for an oil change, tax season at the accountants, the lawyer’s office, even shopping malls have started to see the need for supplying a place that occupies our children while Mom and Dad can rest from all the heavy shopping.
Give a child his and her own table and chairs to sit in, a few good books to open up and fall into, along with an array of intriguing puzzle games, that both occupy and stimulate that range of curiosity and need to explore are accomplished, and you also fulfill your requirement for an entertaining lobby that is fun for both kids and parent.
Most importantly the children are engaged in what is now a pleasurable, hopefully memorable experience that they will look forward to next time, should the visit be with the dentist or doctor. How much more business do you think these establishments would attract for offering yet one more service. An important one at that!