Restaurant activities

Hi families! Besides screentime, how would you keep your 2.5 year old seated when eating out at a restaurant?

  • Rhonda
    May 16, 2018

    Same as above. I also just tried to go to restaurants where it wouldn't matter if they got up and wandered around. :)

  • Haley
    May 17, 2018

    My daughter thinks it’s “neat” to pack her purse (like mommy) with small toys we take to the restaurant

  • Sarah
    May 17, 2018

    We’ve got a little box of Legos that they both enjoy, magnetic scenes and games like tic tac toe are fun too. Often our daughter brings a Barbie or Calico Critter along, and also white boards are super awesome! Like Rhonda we also try to pick restaurants that are already a little loud and more kid friendly!

  • Kelsie
    May 17, 2018

    The little doodle pads where the marker only works on the pages - great if they get a little erratic since it won’t mark the menu or table. Agreed with packing their own bag - my daughter puts in chapstick and usually a little animal or two and some stickers. She also really likes to pick out her own food so I’ll share a menu with her and she “reads” it to me. It is always a lot of chicken and pizza 🤔 I tend to keep a few surprises - dollar store books, new tiny car etc in my purse incase all else fails. Anyways that usually uses up the time until the food comes.

  • Amy
    May 17, 2018

    Wikki Stix

  • Cathy
    May 17, 2018

    We don’t allow ourselves to give our child our phones out at dinner. Or any mealtime. We give a pre-snack, and he is usually entertained by us or the people around him. We don’t bring toys either since that teaches him to play at a table during meal time. Honestly, we talk to him and keep him busy with just us. We want him to be able to communicate with the people around him

  • Soo
    May 17, 2018

    My kiddo likes playing with the tegu magnetic blocks. There’s a small set that’s easy to just keep it in your bag

  • Sara
    May 17, 2018

    My son is 22 months and doesn’t have a long attention span at a restaurant. I have a little zip up makeup bag I put some of his little blocks and dinosaurs in, and some other animals. He opens the bag takes everything out and put it all back in or build with the little blocks.

  • Galileia
    May 17, 2018

    Coloring books, matching game that we bought from target, reading books and counting the sugar or just about anything that you see on the table. Play I-spy game.

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    May 17, 2018

    We used to let them play with the little thing of sugar packets. I’d bring stuff but they never wanted to play, but stacking those packets or sorting by color or sitting them back into the container was a weird hit.

  • Cynthia
    May 17, 2018

    You should try an app called Vroom. It can give you activities to help pass the, sorting sugar packets by color or making patterns out of them....

  • Karlee
    May 18, 2018

    Target dollar spot coloring packs and a snack before the food comes but if he just isn’t interested we let him do something on his tablet like a game. I wouldn’t ever want to ruin others experience there paying for my loud talking and letting your kids get out of there seats at a restaurant.

  • Jade
    May 19, 2018

    A potty break right after ordering helps break the time up. We walk to the restroom, “try”, maybe let the sink run over our fingers or something silly like that, and take the long way back. Just getting to get out of the seat for 2 min really makes the wait time seem to be 2 small wait times instead of 1 long one.

  • Jazzbird
    May 21, 2018

    We have a little, sectioned plastic food container on hand where we keep a few crayons, small coloring books (seems they're always being given away at various places), a small magnetic drawing toy, a few stickers, and a couple of small toys. We also have one of the little bubble bottles in there, though obviously, we save that for non-food locations. It's our little restaurant go-to pack to keep our son occupied. We rotate things out as needed to keep interest. As he's grown, we've also started playing games, like finding certain letters/numbers on menus, playing "I spy," etc. It's also a good time to talk about what he wants to eat, whether it's a balanced meal, etc.

  • Jen
    May 21, 2018

    I think sometimes we go too out of our way to have distractions for them. They have to learn to sit still and talk and use there manners at some point. Its all good practice now.

  • Gina
    May 21, 2018

    All my little one needs is a coloring book or if we can get a snack in front of her that helps as well.

  • Rhonda
    May 21, 2018

    Board books, coloring book, sticker activity book or just stickers to go with the coloring book. And we always try to go to restaurants where kids moving around is tolerated. My child who is now 8 STILL has trouble sitting through and entire meal at a restaurant!

  • Cassandra
    May 21, 2018

    My kid is 2.5 and I usually bring one small book, two small vehicles from his bday gift bags, stickers, crayons and a small coloring book or pad. Crayons and stickers are his favorite. I bought a teachers pack online of thousands. Once food is on the table, he is happy. So we typically get an appetizer.

  • Kendi
    May 22, 2018

    We like playing, what's missing? I actually got the idea from Daniel Tiger. Set up a few things that are at the table (silverware, condiments, napkin) child covers eyes and you hide one item under the table and child guesses what's missing. Fun for the child to hide things from you too😆

  • Claire
    Jun 07, 2018

    Little trucks, gears, and pipe cleaners that can be stuck into a reused coffee cup through the drink hole.