Keep the Kids Entertained with a Restaurant Activity Bag

This Restaurant Activity Bag is perfect for when you go out to eat with your children. Fill it with items to keep them busy and keep you sane! Check out what is in this bag of tricks.

keep the kids entertained with a restaurant activity bag

We’ve all been there before. You have these grand ideas that you are going to take your perfectly behaved children out to dinner and you will enjoy a nice quiet meal. And then reality hits you! It never goes the way you planned it. In fact, you may even question why you even left the house.

One of the ways we combat these public debacles is having a Restaurant Activity Bag. It’s really simple. We fill the bag with things to keep the kids entertained while waiting for our table or our dinner. It helps pass the time and keeps them off the devices. Sure its easy to hand them our phones or let them play with the new high tech kiosks at the table, but this is a great opportunity for some unplugged time.

So what’s in our bag?

Creating a Restaurant Activity Bag

The Bag – Any bag will do! An old backpack, reusable tote, anything! I used to just throw everything in my purse but that got old fast. Now, we have a dedicated bag that hangs by the front door so we can grab and go!

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Books – Any books will do! Sometimes we end up with duplicates so I put the extras in the bag. Board books work well because you can easily wipe them down.

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Doodle Pad – My boys love their Chunky Pad and it’s the perfect size for the bag! You could even just bring scraps of paper, a notebook,  or index cards.  Anything they can draw on!  And of course, you will need some crayons. Skip the markers so they aren’t drawing on the walls. Don’t ask me how I know this.

MagnaDoodle – This small travel size version is the perfect MagnaDoodle for the Restaurant Activity Bag. I got at Target for a few bucks.  Right now Jack doesn’t really draw on it, so we play a game where I draw pictures and he tells me what they are.  Then, he tells me what to draw.  Older kids can play Tic Tac Toe, draw pictures, practice writing their name, etc.

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Cars – Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Little Wheelies: pick your brand, they all work.  Another tip: the wine or dessert menu can stand on its sides to form a little triangle that makes a great tunnel or garage to park the cars!

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Plastic Figures – If your kids like to collect Happy Meal toys like mine do, this is a great way to use them! These are great for pretend play, and since they are plastic they are easily wiped clean. Have a little girl? Throw in a small baby doll or miniature Barbie. One of my favorite small-toy options are Toobs.  They come in all different themes and are very lifelike.

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Small Games – Games that come in tins like this Bowling Dice are great for the restaurant! It has a carry case and doesn’t have a lot of pieces involved. Other favorites are card games or simply play “I Spy.”

Depending on your child’s likes, you can tailor your bag to their favorite things. If your kid is really into art and creating, add more artsy items like stickers, glue sticks, pre-ripped scraps of paper.  For the budding architects and construction workers, LEGOS are great too.

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One thing to keep in mind when putting together your Restaurant Activity Bag is to avoid toys and books that make noise. You do not want to be any more of a distraction in the restaurant! And don’t forget to get involved. This is a great time for you to get in some simple play time with your kids. So grab a toy, play quietly with your child, and join in on the conversation and adult interaction while your child is having a moment of independent play.

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One Comment

  1. This is such a great post! I’ve needed to update our restaurant bag for a while now! Thanks for sharing Steph and Shannon!

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