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Wednesday, July 09, 2008
How to Create a Kid Friendly Waiting Room

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By Grace Chen

If you are in a business that involves waiting, and there is any chance that kids will be involved, you can really impress your clients, and heighten the overall enjoyment of the waiting process, by making your waiting room child-friendly. Here are some tips for doing just that.

The Décor

The décor of your waiting room really sets the mood and tone of your business. If you are in the business of working with children, say a pediatrician’s office, than it is very appropriate to choose colors and images suited for children. A popular method is to go with a theme – for instance, you could paint a circus mural with clowns, acrobats, and animals or a zoo theme with the favorite wild creatures. Brighter colors and images will certainly appeal to the younger crowd.

If you own a business that caters towards adults who might happen to bring their children along, then this might not be appropriate. However, setting up a kids’ corner with brightly colored pictures on the wall can create the same effect of a kid-friendly space.

The Waiting

If you think that waiting room chairs are uncomfortable for adults, try looking at them from a child’s perspective. They are stiff, hard, and too high for them to sit in comfortably. To help kids feel more at home, consider adding in some low couches or kid-sized chairs that they can sit more comfortably in during their visit.

Reading Material

Some adults may look forward to the waiting room as a chance to catch up on back issues of Reader’s Digest or the latest gossip magazines, but these publications hold little interest for your younger patrons. If you do not feel like a subscription to a few kid’s magazines is appropriate, consider stocking some classic children’s books in a variety of age ranges for kids to enjoy.


Of course, the bigger seller of a kid-friendly waiting room is the toys. Kids love toys, especially if they are something that they do not already have at home. However, there are a couple of things to consider about toys:

  • Toys must be kept clean. Since you do not want to spread germs amongst your clients, you will want to look for toys that are easy to clean and disinfect on a daily basis. Stay away from soft toys that can be difficult to clean and disinfect, and look for those with hard surfaces that can be wiped down easily.

  • Toys need to be appropriate for a variety of age levels. If you are trying to create a kid-friendly waiting room, then there will always be times when you have the potential for a new crawler to be joining in on the fun. Stay away from toys that could be considered choking hazards.

  • You need organization. While a box full of Legos may sound like a fun idea, just remember who is going to be picking the toys up at the close of business.

To help create an easy to keep up with fun area, you could consider a play cube or table. Heavy enough that they cannot be moved, these structures often contain a variety of fun things from moving sculptures and gears to basic alphabet, number, and tic-tac-toe games.

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