Restaurant Busy Kits

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Eating at a restaurant with a child (or multiple children!) can be a challenge. Time ticks about 10x slower when you’re awaiting the food for a hungry child. I put together these Restaurant Busy Kits and keep them right in my car. They’ve been a real sanity saver and have made dinners out actually enjoyable again! Here’s what you need:

Case or Bag

Buy something to keep everything organized. I found this clear plastic case on Amazon, but you could use a tote bag, backpack or anything else your child can easily carry themselves.

Blank notebooks

Target Dollar Spot usually has little 8-page notebooks, in packs of 8, for $3.00. These are endless fun for children of all ages. Little ones can scribble and do stickers. Older children can practice writing, drawing scenes, or even making up their own story book. I love them because there are no lines and with only 8 pages, they’re not searching through a big book for a blank page.

Pens

Colored pens are hit at restaurants for my kids because they’re a novelty. They get markers and crayons at home, but rarely pens. Make sure to get the kind that click up and down because no one wants to go diving under the booth in a restaurant for a missing cap.

Activity Packs

Target Dollar Spot has $1 activity packs with kid’s favorite characters. They come with a little activity book, stickers and crayons.

Stickers

These are great fine motor practice for little ones while they add fun embellishments for a older child’s masterpiece. The Dollar Tree and Target Dollar Spot are full of fun stickers for super reasonable prices. Encourage older kids to incorporate stickers into their drawing. Use an emoji as the head for a character, make hearts into flowers or draw an under water world complete with fish and seaweed. Pick a theme for their art based on whatever stickers they have in their kit.

Make a Scene Sticker Sheets

Stickers and the scene are included on these sheets. Kids can choose from different stickers to complete the animal face or race car. The pack comes with 96 sheets for $7.25 on Amazon. Melissa and Doug make reusable sticker books with different themes for around $5.00 but they wouldn’t fit in my case.

Mini Spirograph

This little spirograph has been a huge hit with my 2 & 4 year olds. It’s tricky, but even when they don’t do it perfectly, they end up with cool pictures. It takes standard square size Post It notes, so they can stick them all over your restaurant booth.

Printables

The internet is full of great printables to keep your kiddos busy. Here are just a few links. Looking for something age appropriate for your child? Search Pinterest for “printables for” and your child’s age. (Example: Printables for 6 year olds)

Restaurant Scavenger Hunt
Practicing Shapes
Shapes, Colors, Color Sight Words
Educational Worksheets for Preschool-1st Grade

Change out the supplies regularly to keep them exciting. I hope this helps keep your kids entertained and allows you and your spouse to have a conversation. Happy dining!

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Kristin graduated from the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities in 2003 with a degree in advertising and did product marketing in the beauty industry for seven years. She left the working world to start her family and now stays at home with her two spirited little girls, Nora 4 and Evelyn 2. She is wife to a true “Wisconsin Man” and together they love everything outdoors. When not spending time with her family, Kristin enjoys sewing, gardening, traveling, cooking (because she loves eating good food!), reading, the Packers and party planning. Her love for researching everything kid related has given her go-to status among her friends and family.