IN THE WAITING
AT THE DOCTOR/DENTIST’S OFFICE
QUERKY QUESTIONS For Kids in Grades 3 – 5
How many things can you find in this room that are…
Things You Have At Home?
Things You Would Never Have At Home?
Things Only A Doctor/Dentist Would Have?
How might you group the objects in this room?
What colors are not in this room?
What is the heaviest thing in this room? The lightest? The most
expensive? The cheapest? The oldest? The newest? Explain why you
think what you do. What evidence do you have to support your
Pick an object in this room. In what other places might you find
one like it? Name as many places as you can.
What objects in this room would not have been in a waiting room
100 years ago?
What might a waiting room have looked like 100 years ago?
What objects might be in a waiting room in the future?
How might a waiting room be different from this one in the
Pick any object in this room. How many ways might you use this
I’m thinking of an object in this room. What is it? Can you
discover what it is by asking me only 10 questions? Try it.
Name all the things the doctor might add to this room to make it
a better waiting room.
What if the doctor decided to rearrange the furniture in this
room? How might he rearrange it?
What if the doctor decided to take something out of this room?
What might he choose to take out? Why?
What should the doctor add to this room to make it more
interesting? To make it more comfortable?
Look carefully at the room to your left, to your right or behind
you for 10 seconds. Then, turn away and name as many things as you
can remember seeing in that part of the room.
What if you were locked in this room? What are all the ways you
might get out?
If I were locked in this room overnight, how might I use the
furniture to make myself comfortable? How many different things
might I do to entertain myself?
What if this room was upside down? How would it be if the
ceiling was the floor and vice versa?
Pick an object in this room. How is this object like a patient?
Pick an object in this room. How might it feel to be this
object? What are some things this object might say if it could
talk? What might make this object happy? Sad? Frightened? Angry?
Pick two objects in the room. What might one object say to the
Pick any object in this room. What are all the things that you
think of when you look at that object?
How many questions are in this room? (Ex. How old is it?
What was it before it was a waiting room? Why did the doctor decide
to work here?)
How many uses can you think of for…(pick one from this list or
pick an object in the room)?
a pair of scissors
a magnifying glass
a sheet of paper
a clip board
a paper straw
a paper cup
How might you improve…(pick one from this list or choose an
object in the room)?
the chairs in this room
your pen or pencil
a baseball cap
a coffee mug
your book bag
your winter coat
your favorite board game
your favorite snack
Pick an object in this room. What if it started talking to you?
What might it say? What might you say?
Pick an object in this room. Tell me a story about you and this
object. How did you use it to solve a problem?
Add your doctor or dentist to a story you’re reading in school.
How would this addition change your story?
Choose a character from a story you have read recently and put
the character in this waiting room, sitting right beside you. What
would the two of you talk about? Why might the character be seeing
What If ….? What might be the consequences? Name as many as you
What if there were no doctors? What if people
never got sick?
What if people lived 200 years? What if our life
span was only five years?
What if people didn’t need to sleep?
What if people had twice as many teeth? Or had 8
fingers on each hand?
What if people had only one eye? Or had two
What if everyone’s teeth were exactly alike?
What if everyone had the same exact face?
What if doctors had X-ray vision?
What if doctors could see odors?
What if dentists could hear cavities?
What if dentists had hands the size of their feet?
What if dentists had pills they could take to make
CLIPBOARD ACTIVITIES To Draw, Write, Figure Out…
Draw a mural the doctor could use to brighten up this room.
Make up a word problem using any of the objects in this room.
(Ex.. If each chair was occupied by five different people today,
how many people would have been in this waiting room? And, if each
person paid the doctor $40.00, how much would the doctor make
Make up a word problem about the doctor and his patients. Use
these three numbers in your problem: _____ _____ _____ (Ex. 5,
Pick any object in this room. What might you add to it to make
it better? What might you eliminate? Draw a picture of how the
object would look after you made those changes.
Design a super-duper waiting room chair. Draw a picture of it.
Include details. Label your drawing.
Design a chair that an alien might use in a waiting room on a far
Design a series of road signs that could be used in this office.
Ex. Exit. Sign In.
Draw a picture of how you might look sitting in this room 60
years from now.
Create a symbol for this waiting room. For this doctor/dentist.
Draw a symbol that illustrates how you feel while waiting.
What if you were the doctor and he/she was your patient? Write a
list of questions you would ask before you examined him/her?
How many words can you make out of this word (choose one)?
Doctor, Patient, Insurance, Medicine, Health, Disease, Illness,
Prescription, Healing, Stomach, Heart, Liver, Brain, Esophagus,
Tongue, Throat, Teeth, Braces.
What might you make out of this line? (Draw a curvy or
non-straight line. The line should be approximately an inch in
diameter. Tell your child she can add anything she wants to in
order to turn the shape into something interesting. Encourage her
to add details to her drawing.)
How might the doctor rearrange the furniture in this room to make
it more comfortable? Draw a plan to illustrate this new
Explore Magazine Pictures: Select a magazine in the waiting
room. (Women’s magazines such as “Coastal Living or “Ladies Home
Journal” work well for this).
What can you remember? (Find a full-page picture. Ask your
child to study the picture for 10 – 30 seconds. Then, take the
picture away and ask him to list the items he remembers seeing in
You are an eye-witness. Find a picture in a magazine and show
it to your child for 10 seconds then take it away. Ask questions
about the picture. (Ex. How many people are in the picture? What
color shirt was the woman wearing? What objects were on the coffee
table?) Ask five questions. Do the same activity with the child
asking the questions about a picture you studied.)
Can you find my picture? Select a picture in the magazine.
Give your child 3 –5 clues about the picture. (Ex. The picture has
two people in it. They are outside on a sunny day.) Ask your child
to look through the magazine and find the picture that you selected,
using your clues.
Can you find my object? Select a picture and pick one object
that you notice. Tell your child to look at the picture and ask
questions in order to figure out what object you picked. Challenge
him to ask good questions. Point out that the better the questions,
the fewer he needs to ask.
Why is she smiling? Select a picture that has at least one
person in it. Ask your child why one of these people is smiling or
laughing, frowning, running. Whatever they are doing. Challenge
your child to list as many reasons as they can.
What happened before this? Select a picture that has people in
it. Ask your child what the people might have been doing before the
picture was taken. What might they have done after it was taken.
What if you walked into a picture? Ask your child to look
through the magazine and find a picture. What might he see if he
were in the picture that is not visible to you looking at it in the
Who lives here? Select a picture of a room in a house or in a
garden. Find one without people in it. Ask your child who might
live in this place. What might their names be? Brainstorm ideas
about how they live. What they do for a living. what they do for
Find a picture of a room in a house. Ask your child what
three things they like most about this picture. What don’t they
like? Explain their thinking.
Find a recipe in the book. Read the ingredients. How much of
each one would you need if you doubled the recipe? Tripled it?
Made only half of the dish?
Find an ad that contains numbers.
What is the sum of all of the numbers used in this
What is the smallest number? The largest number?
The difference between the two?
Make up a worksheet of addition, subtraction,
multiplication or division problems using the numbers in this ad.
Ask your kids to make up a word problem using the
numbers in this ad.
Pick one number on the page. How many different
ways can you make this number? (Ex. 12: 3 x 4 = 12; 6 + 6 = 12;
20 – 8 = 12; 460 – 448 = 12; 7,322 – 7,310 = 12)
Find a picture of an animal in the magazine. Ask your child to
pretend that the animal is his pet. Name his pet. Write a story
about the pet and a problem that it caused. Tell your child to
write in his story how he solved the problem.
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