When we’re out for lunch with Little H a lot of people comment on how well behaved she is. I personally think half of it is down to pure luck. The rest is down to her having no siblings to fight with and us taking a backpack full of child entertainment with us.
Oh and quite a bit of bribery.
If you’re struggling to get your children to sit still when you’re eating out, here’s a list of things we take with us…
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Writing Pad & Pencil Case
Give her a notepad or colouring book and a few pens and Little H will sit for ages. Sometimes we get involved and draw or colour with her – we’re trying to teach her to play noughts & crosses at the moment – and sometimes she’s happy drawing by herself. We always keep a small notepad and pencil case in her backpack.
You might have seen the big Aquadoodle Mats but have you seen the travel Aquadoodle they also do? These were a godsend when Little H was small and we didn’t trust her not to draw all over her clothes or the table. They don’t make any mess and you can get all sorts of popular characters.
Before we go out we usually get Little H to put a few toys in her bag, this way we know there’s something she wants to play with. The favourites are usually My Little Ponies or Littlest Pet Shop and she can sit acting out little scenarios with them for hours. I guess that’s the bonus of having an only child – she’s used to playing by herself!
It might sound a bit stupid when you’re going out for lunch, but you will thank yourself for packing snacks in their bag when you’ve been waiting over an hour and still no sign of the starters. A hangry kid is not a fun kid to be around!
Sometimes you just need to bring out the phone or tablet. I’ve seen a lot of parents talking about how awful it is to see children in restaurants using tablets. I say go for it – better a kid using an iPad than terrorising a restaurant. I’d recommend downloading a few episodes of your little one’s favourite tv show as you can’t always rely on free WiFi. We have a Fire HD kids tablet and it’s great for limiting use and accessing children’s tv shows and books.
What tricks do you have up your sleeve to keep kids entertained when you’re out for lunch?