Restaurant Hacks to Keeps Your Kids Happy and Entertained

posted: 10/14/16
by: Amanda Mushro
mother and daughter at a table in a restaurant, the child's foot is on the table

Usually I come prepared with snacks and small games for my kids when we venture out to a restaurant, but sometimes even my stash of goodies isn't enough to make it through dinner with happy diners. So instead of grabbing our food and running, I hack a few things at the table to keep the kids entertained until their meals arrive. Eating out has never been so fun.

Play the Magic Inch Worm Game- Ask your server for a few extra straws and squish down the paper wrappers so that they look like an inch worm. Then fill the straw with water and use your finger at the top to keep the water in. Slowly put a few drops of water onto the wrapper to watch it grow. Your kids can even have races to see whose inch worm can cross a finish line, made from a spoon or fork, first.

Try Out a Balancing Act- Put a small pile of salt on the table and see how long it takes everyone to balance the salt shaker on its side in the pile of salt. This game is easy to clean up and keeps kids entertained longer than you'd expect.

Play the What's Missing Game- Create a display using anything on the table: sugar packets, straws, silverware, or napkins. Then tell your kids to cover their eyes and start to remove a few items to see if your kids can figure out what you've taken away. If the food still hasn't arrived, let them take the lead.

An Oldie but a Goodie in Tic Tac Toe- All you need are straws and two different colored sugar packets to make the perfect table tic-tac-toe.

Ask for Some Dough- If you're at a pizza place or a restaurant that makes their own tortillas, ask for a small ball of dough for your kids. They will love playing with the dough while you eat your dinner. So this one is a win/win for everyone.