Dining out with a toddler is a lot harder than dining out with baby. While babies might be content to coo from a stroller and watch the world go by, not so your toddler! Here are a few favorite games I’ve found to keep Veronika occupied.
Drawing Games: Restaurants often provide paper and crayons… but good luck with that paper staying on the table. Now, I carry a roll of masking tape in my purse. Tape the paper down, and your toddler won’t be able to rip up his or her masterpiece!
Hide a Hand: Hide a small item in one hand. Let your toddler see it, but then close both fists. Today, for example, Veronika loved finding a piece of chalk over and over, grinning with delight no matter how many times I switched it back and forth between my hands.
Hide-and-Seek: This is a classic of course. Hide a small object (a quarter works well) in an easy to spot location, and let your toddler be the seeker.
Ta da! She found it under the menu.
Count Together: Finally, don’t forget about counting. Veronika already chimes along to “One, two, three…” and although she might not grasp what those words convey, kids can learn to parrot up to ten easily. So count out sugar packets, crayons, single-serve creamers, or whatever else is on the table!
Today Veronika loved counting pieces of chalk into an empty plastic cup.
And of course, it doesn’t hurt if you happen to be at an establishment so cool that the table itself is a chalkboard and there is a basket full of dinosaurs to play with!
Do you have a favorite restaurant game with your toddler? Please share in the comments!