The thought of eating out with a toddler break new parents into a sweat. Will the child cause a ruckus or throw a tantrum? Will the family be kicked out from the restaurant?
Luckily for all new parents, there are good tips and tricks shared by other parents online to manage restless kids. Parenting really gets adults to think creatively!
Here are some of the things tried and tested by parents everywhere:
Playing I-Spy requires no props and it can keep kids entertained for a long time. It’s also a good opportunity for them to put new vocabulary to use. Start with something basic and simple such as colours before progressing to shapes. To make it interesting, let them bring their own DIY binoculars.
2. Play doh
For this to work, the play doh and the moulds have to be different from the ones at home. A way to do this is to use a new or different colour play doh and keep some of the moulds just for eating out sessions. This way the play doh and moulds feel new to the kids and will get them excited to play with it.
3. Toned down Pictionary
Children love guessing games! Take turns to draw pictures on a notepad and guess what each other drew. It might result in some laughter.
4. Would You Rather game
This is a game where the more random the questions, the better. This is also the opportunity for adults to go a little wild with ideas and their imagination. Sample questions are “Would you rather be a lizard or a crocodile?” or “Would you rather be a zookeeper or watch dinosaurs?”
5. Straw wrapper worms
Worms fascinate children for some odd reason. To make a straw worm, pull down the wrapper halfway to scrunch it up and pull it out carefully from the other end. Lay the wrapper on the table and use the straw to drop small droplets of water onto the wrapper to make it expand. It’ll look as if the ‘worm’ is moving across the table.
For older kids
6. Fortune tellers
This is an old favourite for many generations of kids and will still entertain the kids today. It is also an evergreen game because it can be personalized so it’s forever new.
7. Pocket/ magic mazes
The magic or pocket maze books are suited to older children who can understand the objective of the maze.
8. Word search
Word Search is another great pocketbook game for older kids. It provides an opportunity for them to pick up new words to add to their vocabulary. Do make sure to check the spelling of the words before purchasing the books though.
9. Tic Tac Toe
Another classic game, it can be played using pencil and paper or fashioned using knives or straws and sugar packets. Arrange the knives or straws to form the grids and use different colour sugar packets as the X’s and O’s.
10. Get creative
What if you forgot to bring any of those things? Whip out your phone and scroll through the phone gallery. Bring up old holiday pictures and have a conversation about it with the kids, instead of letting them watch Youtube or play phone games.