There are two types of parents: those who take their toddlers to restaurants and those who don't. TDSH and I are the former.
We've taken Abner out for all sorts of dining experiences since she was just two weeks old (first dinner out was an Indian themed banquet if I remember correctly).
I'd have to say we've been pretty lucky on the behaviour front. But as she's gotten older, it has gotten just a wee bit more challenging to keep her entertained if the service happens to be slow. With that in mind, I decided to create a little restaurant survival kit.
Our kit contains a sticker book and stickers a small blank notepad and a bag of soy crayons (similar to these ones). [Yes, yes, we're even crazy enough to take her to restaurants that don't supply an activity menu and crayons!] The bag is compact so it's easy to grab on the way out the door and toss into my purse, ready to whip out at the first drop of the fork, clinking of the glasses or yank on the tablecloth [actually, that one's a stretch...I don't think we've gone anywhere with tablecloths...that's just asking for trouble!].
The bag is a Blue Q zipper pouch I picked up a few weeks ago in Nelson. It's called "French lecon." How cute are these retro illustrations?!?!
Here are two of my favourite little scenes...the cranky kid getting towelled off by "mama" (he's probably cranky because mama seems to have let the whole freakin' family into watch him get out of the tub).
...and teen aged girl in a bib. Can someone please explain why the heck she's in a bib at her age?
Before we had the survival kit, we've been known to resort to serenading Abner with Stevie Wonder tunes. I'm sure restaurant patrons everywhere are grateful we've come up with a better strategy.
Got any other suggestions for keeping kids entertained at restaurants?