Mar 182013

As anyone with young kids knows, eating out can be hit or miss, especially if you’d like to go somewhere a step up from fast food! I came up with a way to ease the pain of dining out by bringing along a restaurant kit when we go out (and since it lives in the diaper bag it does double duty as a busy bag when necessary).

Here’s what I put in our restaurant kit for kids:

1. Start with the bag. A small cosmetics bag would work great – I used a bag with a clear front so that I could see inside easily, and its heavy duty material lets me clean it off.

2. Little blank notebooks for each of the kids – fun for drawing, tic tac toe, or pretending to be the waiter.

3. Extra plastic utensils – just in case (sometimes the restaurant only has large heavy utensils which are unweildy for little kids, and sometimes the fork is on the floor with no replacement in sight).

4. Assorted little toys – I tried to pick things that both kids would enjoy and that could spark some imaginative play.

5. Extra straws. Sometimes restaurants don’t have straws, or they’re only giant straws. I have some thin straws in our kit, and I also cut down some straws so that they fit kid-sized glasses better.

6. Little card games. I printed these ones out from and used wide tape to ‘laminate’ them – one is a memory match game and one is an easy number game.

7. Crayons. I put them in ziplock bags which hold up better than the little cardboard boxes and I have a baggie for each kid.

8. Little books. We have a Velveteen Rabbit set which breaks the story up into 6 little books, but any little books would work.

9. Sticker books or stickers. The reusable sticker books are great for a restaurant kit because then you know that the stickers won’t permanently bond to the table, chairs or floor of the restaurant!

10. Printable coloring pages from Of course you can also find coloring and activity pages at a lot of other sites as well. I’ve found on some printers you can adjust the print settings to print 4 pages on one, which shrinks the images down to a smaller size – great for going in the kit and for coloring on the table without taking up a ton of space.

Of course, a phone with some kid-friendly apps works well too, but I try to avoid the electronic crutch when possible. What are some things you use to entertain your kids at restaurants?

I’m sharing this post at some of these great link parties – check ’em out!

  26 Responses to “Create A Restaurant Activity Kit To Keep Kids Entertained At Dinner”

  1. Love this idea! I’ve pinned and stumbled it. Thanks for sharing, Mama. 🙂

  2. I’m printing this out for my son. He has 4 year old twins. That pretty much says it all 😉 Thanks for sharing, Meghan!

  3. This is a great idea! I am a Mom of 3 boys and this will be really helpful! I pinned it! Julia @

  4. Oh, this is not just for parents. It’s for grandparents, too. What a great idea.

    Thanks for linking up on my Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!
    Do come back next week …
    Sinea Ducks ‘n a Row

  5. What a great, creative, and very useful idea! Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from Sugar Bee Crafts:)

  6. So creative! This idea will be very helpful for me very soon because I’m expecting a boy now and feel that he will be very active:))

  7. I love this idea. I am going to make a few kits up for the little ones in my life, and for gifts. ;o)

  8. Ok, so this is one of those ideas where I think to myself, “Why in the heck didn’t I think of that??” Pinned this to my Preschool board, GREAT idea! I’d love it if you linked this up to my Show & Share link party: -Kelly @ Semi Homemade Mom

  9. I love this!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Found you through Thursday’s Treasures!


  10. What a great idea! Heaven knows I could use something to help keep my kids busy at a restaurant! We’d love for you to link this up at our party!

  11. These are great ideas for entertaining little ones! Could you link this up to my blog hop? I think our readers would really like it! Thanks!

  12. These are great ideas and would work so well for other times too…not just at a restaurant. I’m pinning to my “Keep ‘Em Busy” board. Thanks!

  13. I love seeing what you put in your bag of tricks! I never carried one quite the full but used little pencil holders pockets that you put into binders. Then I’d keep a bunch in our car’s trunk. I’d have mini activity kits in the like a little container of play-doh with some cutters, a dry erase letter practice spiral with pen, etc.

  14. My MOPS mom friends would love this! Pinned it! Thanks for linking up at Family Fun Friday. Sincerely,

  15. Brilliant!! We’re also featuring this on Inspiration in Progress!

  16. I know of many times where little children could have done with these, great idea! Thank you for linking up with my Eat. Pray Love linky party, don’t forget to do it again this Tuesday!

  17. We have 5 kids and believe me, we’re constantly searching for ways to keep them entertained while traveling. Our latest trick is audiobooks. There’s lots of great sites to download them, but we love this one because all the stories are free and original. Here’s the link if anyone is interested.

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