Remember when people-watching was an entertaining activity? My grandpa used to sit on the bench at the mall and talk with the other old husbands, and then he’d give my grandma and me an overview of the different types of people he had observed. Nowadays people-watching is usually boring since so many people are entranced by their phones. In fact, on a recent trip to Florida, I saw thousands of people that traveled all the way to Disney World just to check their phones. Lame.
I know, I know, people use their phones for all sorts of constructive things – paying bills, ordering groceries, starting the crock pot, managing the thermostat, remotely talking to the UPS guy, learning another language, and on and on and on. I’m NOT saying that if you’re on your phone while sitting in a waiting room, your brain cells have all turned to mush. I AM saying that if you have a few minutes to spare and you want to say “No” to taking pictures of the ceiling for Snapchat, here’s a list of alternative activities. Also, I am not making fun of the many lovely people across the globe who use Snapchat or other social media platforms, even for ceiling pictures. I am only saying that for those who are interested in doing something else with their time and resources, you’re in the right place 🙂 Try one of these activities instead.
- Write a postcard to your grandma or an elderly friend and mail it.
- Write a haiku (a poem often about nature with 3 lines, containing 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second, and 5 syllables in the 3rd line). Pick a theme for your haiku to give you some direction – maybe it’ll be about the county fair, your favorite season, or horseback riding.
- Sketch ideas for a dream tree house.
- Look at a printed map and brainstorm a vacation you’d love to take.
- Journal a favorite Bible verse (if you can, make it cute like the Bible journaling people do!).
- Sketch a Coat of Arms for your family.
- Draw a whimsical house – is it a castle, a tiny house, a hobbit house? Is there an aquarium in a wall? A firepole?
- Design a restaurant’s interior.
- Write a few song lyrics.
- Compose a melody (in your head or jot it down on blank sheet music).
- Write down all 50 states. Done? Add their capital cities.
- Complete a crossword puzzle.
- Try sudoku.
- Word nerds, parse and diagram a sentence or Bible verse.
- Mentally recite the multiplication tables.
- Draw an aerial view of a town and pretend to be the snow plow driver. Map the most efficient route.
- Knit or crochet.
- Read to a child or elderly person (like Opal and Gloria Dump in Because of Winn-Dixie).
- Sketch a world map from memory.
- Draw a map of your state, including as many towns and geographical features as you can.
- List the Canadian and Australian territories.
- Plan the week’s menu and grocery list.
- Imagine you’re embarking on the Oregon Trail. Make your packing list.
- Pretend you’re with Lewis and Clark and write a day’s travel log.
- Brainstorm names for various pets, and stretch your imagination. What would you name a pet pangolin, panda, or tortoise? What about a toucan or elephant?
- Make a list of places you’d like to hike. Do you want to hike the whole Appalachian Trail, or the highest point in all 50 states? Backpack in the Grand Canyon or climb all of Colorado’s 14’ers? Death Valley or Denali?
- Design a logo.
- Sketch a book cover.
- Doodle a quilt design.
- List your favorite songs, or journal about your favorite lyrics.
- Sketch some fashion designs.
- Design a themed cake.
- Doodle a collage of a few of your favorite things.
- Design a postage stamp.
Now it’s your turn! Comment below with your ideas, or if you used one of these, tell me about it 🙂
5 thoughts on “35 Phone-Free Things to Do While Waiting”
These are all great ideas! I’d love to make a coat of arms- sounds very fun! I usually bring a book/Kindle or a journal everywhere with me. I love Because of Winn Dixie!
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It’s such a sweet story!
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What great ideas! Diagramming a sentence took me back to sixth grade language arts. I owe my teacher all my writing skills because she made us learn how to diagram sentences.
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Understanding sentence structure really can help us as writers!