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Easy Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy During Restaurant Waits

April 24, 2014
By: Christel M. Hoydic
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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 - While some restaurants offer crayons (often just two) so your child can draw while waiting, 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 identify something in sight or that is visible around them. Begin by saying "I spy with my little eye, something that ____ (begins with a letter, is a certain color, or is a particular shape)."  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 knifes to create the board and two different colored sugar packets for the x's and o's?

Pipe Cleaners/Wiki Sticks - Pipe Cleaners or Wiki Sticks are great busy items that are easy to transport and provide little hands some 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 child to look closely at the objects and then tell him/her to close their eyes. Quickly take an object away and see if they can guess what 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?", "Would you rather walk barefoot in the snow or run through fire?"  Be creative, silly, and most of all have fun!

Now it's your turn! What are your best ideas for keeping kids entertained during a wait? Let us know by commenting below.

Are you a local restaurant?  We are busy compiling a "Kids Eat" guide, if you are interested in being included in this guide, please contact me here.

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