Keep Your Kids Busy During Restaurant Waits

By Christel M. Hoydic March 19, 2014
It's family night and you decide to head out to your favorite local restaurant. In the midst of being seated at a table, ordering, and the arrival of the food ,your kids may be throwing things, playing with the silverware, talking loudly, or even sliding under the table. Not quite how you envisioned it, is it?

That's why we're sharing this list of ideas to help pass the time — making the down time more fun in the hopes of helping to create a pleasant evening for your family and everyone else!

COLORING Although some restaurants offer crayons (often just two), it's always a good idea to keep a small notebook and crayons in your bag. Did you know that you can store 18 crayons in an Altoids container? It doesn't take up much space in your purse and it keeps the crayons from breaking!

"I SPY" Have the first player silently choose something in sight. Begin by saying "I spy with my little eye, something that (begins with a letter, is a certain color, is a particular shape, etc.)." Let the guessing begin. Be sure that the player who has spied the item answers with only a "yes" or a "no." Keep guessing until the item has been guessed and then switch turns.

TIC-TAC-TOE Don't have a paper and pen for this classic game? Use what is provided! How about the butter knives to create the board and two different colored sugar packets for the x's and o's?

CHENILLE STEMS/WIKI STICKS These are great busy items that are easy to transport and provide little hands with creative fun while waiting at the table. See how many things you can create!

DISAPPEARING OBJECTS Arrange a group of objects from the table together in the middle (salt, pepper, ketchup, etc.). Allow your children to look closely at the objects for one minutes and then tell them to close their eyes. Take an object away, then have them open their eyes and see if they can guess which object is missing.

WOULD YOU RATHER? This is a great family conversation game where you don't need any materials, just a little creativity. Simply ask a question: "Would you rather be a frog or a lion?" or "Would you rather walk barefoot in the snow or run through fire?" Be creative, silly, and, most of all, have fun!