Our Top 5 Hands-Free Waiting Room Ideas to Engage and Entertain Patients

Between the social distancing policies, masks, extra PPE, and barred-off areas, your waiting room might be feeling a bit cold, unfriendly, or even a little scary to your patients these days.

Or maybe you’ve looked around your empty waiting room while patients wait in their cars and thought it looked dull or lonely. If that sounds like you, then now might just be the perfect time to make some upgrades to welcome patients back into your office with a fun, new look. 

Since the arrival of COVID, one of the most common questions we’ve received is how to engage and entertain younger patients before their appointments without adding shared touch points (and therefore more cleaning time to your staffs’ plates). Read on for our top 5 hands-free recommendations!


1. I Spy Wall Murals

I Spy Wall Murals have always offered an incredible value due to their multi-purpose use as colorful decor and a fun waiting room activity. This is especially true in today’s world when you consider that it keeps kids entertained without resorting to screen time or the need for hands-on games. Another added bonus? I Spy pictures games can boost kids’ memory and visual learning, which parents will definitely appreciate.

Another great perk is the companion activity sheets that you can easily print at your office. They can search for all the items listed on the scavenger hunt list, where dozens of items are hidden within the illustration. It’s like a Where’s Waldo book, but as decor for your office wall!

Would you like to see a sample of an I Spy Wall Mural?

Enter your info below to receive a PDF with a jungle and underwater sample. Grab your kids (or do it yourself) and see how many objects you can find.


Download a sample of an underwater and jungle I Spy Wall Mural from IDS:

Speaking of activity sheets….

2. Coloring Pages or Activity Sheets

While your patients are checking in for their appointments, you can offer them various coloring pages and activity sheets to work on while they wait. You can also give them a set of disposable crayons, so there’s no need to share with other patients throughout the day. Or, if you send out appointment reminder emails, you can always attach some to the email and let them know they can print them off to bring along while they wait.

There are some great free coloring pages online that you can find. We also have a selection of free downloadable coloring pages and activity sheets, as well as drawing lessons, available on our Kids Club page.

Patients have fun, parents can relax while their kids are occupied, and staff have an effective time-management tool that does not require any extra cleaning. Everybody wins!


3. Suspended 3D Decor

If your priority is to keep decor out of reach or to not increase the amount of sanitizing in your office, suspended 3D decor can make the environment fun for all ages. It can even serve as your smiling welcoming committee – no masks required here! 

Character swimming through an open bay.

Wayfinding signage in a clinic.

Stunning first impression in the reception area.

Waving character above the treatment chair in a private exam room.

Hanging decor like this is great for treatment rooms where patients will be spending most of their time laying back in a treatment chair looking up. In waiting rooms this type of a decor does not take the place of seating areas. 

New call-to-action


4. Interactive Floor Projectors

This technology combines a high-quality projector with optical sensors to create a virtual playground. Kids can explore, make art, and play games by simply moving in the projection area – no hands-on contact required!

There are a few options out there, but the hands-down (or hands-off) winner is BEAM

As pioneers of the technology, they have the best gear and a game library of over 200 titles. IDS is proudly a distribution partner, so if you’d like more info, reach out and we can make some recommendations for how to best integrate it into your space!


5. Put On a Good Movie

There’s no shame in simply putting on a good movie to keep the kids occupied before their appointment. There’s really no right or wrong when it comes to keeping kids entertained, so pop in a head bopper like Frozen, Moana, or Coco. You might feel a “Un Poco Loco” after listening to “Let it Go” all day, but you might be surprised how far it goes with the kids’ mood before heading back for their treatment.

These are just five of our favorite solutions when it comes to hands-free waiting room entertainment. Check out these great resources for more ideas for your practice, during COVID times or not.

Ultimate Guide To The Best Germ-Free Pediatric Waiting Room – Beam

Waiting Room Solutions Designed for Kids – Sensory Edge

Easy to Clean Touch Screen Games – Kidzpace

New call-to-action



Check out these related resources for keeping your office safe:

FAQ about Covid-19 and Keeping Your Theming Clean

5 Tips to Prepare Your Waiting Room for the New Normal

Our Top 5 Hands-Free Waiting Room Ideas to Engage and Entertain Patients

Using TV as a Positive Distraction for Kids

A Practical Guide to Creating an Exceptional Patient Experience

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to magical patient experience.

View All posts
Stay Informed!

Related Posts

Spotlight on Bayou Themed Decor for Your Office

August 24, 2022
The swampy marshlands of Louisiana and the subtropical everglades of Florida are inspiring landscapes. From crawfish to alligators and cypress trees to cattails, the bayou is mysterious and whimsical with an exciting cast of characters and scenery – so it’s no surprise it’s been one of our most popular themes over the years! Let’s review […]
Read More

The Benefits of Theming for DSOs

June 6, 2022
Dental Support Organizations (DSO) and Dental Group Practices are built by hard-working professionals who have established reliable partnerships to grow their business nationwide. They own and operate anywhere from 10 to 1000 dental practices. Resourcefulness and efficiency are at the core of these organizations’ models – providing management and marketing support so location staff can […]
Read More

How to Attract Staff to Your Dental Practice… and Keep Them!

July 27, 2022
Pandemic-induced life changes have promoted a work-life balance reset for many, leading to media reports of a ‘great resignation.’ – World Economic Forum Is your dental office set up to grow with this mentality and cultivate a space that will draw in the best of the best to join your team and stick by your […]
Read More