Ever heard the phrase “You can dress her up, but you can’t take her anywhere”? Sometimes taking your children out can feel like that. But whether your kid’s a fidgeter or a food-fight starter, here are some suggestions to keep them entertained while they wait for their meals.
1. I Spy, of course!
Restaurants are the ideal environment for this classic pastime. You can use colors, letters, or even food types for your category!
2. The Recycled Cap Memory Game
Your kids can help prepare this craft before you leave for the restaurant. Using bottle caps of the same variety, this blogger suggests gluing numbers, letters, or pictures to the inner parts of the caps. Visit this site for more information!
3. Make Up Stories About the People You See
If your children tend to use their “outdoor voices”, you might want to skip this one. Everyone’s got a story — so why not try figuring some out yourselves? Try to keep it polite, of course.
Or Naughts and Crosses, as some like to call it. This simple craft requires nothing more than milk bottle caps, a pen, and a sheet of paper.
5. Pipe Cleaner Crafts
These can be very entertaining, especially if your kids are the type that can’t keep still. Crowns, flowers, jewelry, people are are just a few ideas (if your kids are need suggestions). You can also check out this website for more!
6. Read a Book
If a good book can enthrall them at home, then why not at the dinner table? Board books are preferable, as a spill or two won’t do any permanent damage to a family favorite. Check out this Familius article by Natalie Browning for some wonderful reading suggestions.
7. Tell Knock-Knock Jokes
This is my little brother’s personal favorite. Now, he’s got his own collection of joke books, but they’re easy enough to look up online. You might even want to try making up your own!
Take these for example:
Knock-knock. Knock knock. Knock knock.
Who’s there? Who’s there? Who’s there?
Itch. Nana. Scold.
Itch who? Nana who? Scold who?
Bless you! Nana your business! Scold enough to snow!
8. Play the Question Game
The more creative your questions, the more fun the game is! This website suggested the following:
Would you rather live underwater or in outer space?
What is your is favorite vegetable?
Would you rather be a gnome or fairy? (or “Would you rather be a dwarf or an elf?” for all you Tolkien fans)
Peppermint or Berry toothpaste?
Top 3 ice cream toppings?
Which moon phase is the best?
How many kids do you want when you grow up?
If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?
Bike or Skateboard?
9. Play the Alphabet Game
Start by finding food (or objects) that start with the letter A. See how many letters you can cover by the time the check comes!
10. Lego Travel Box
For the kids you literally had to drag from the playroom to the car, this is a great little time passer. What’s even greater is that it was made right at home! Visit this site for full instructions.
If you feel like the success of the night is totally dependent on your children’s behavior, the idea of eating out may seem daunting. But with patience and a little creativity, you may be pleasantly surprised by how fun and fuss-free an evening out can be.
Like the article? We bet you’ll love this book:
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