Fun Activities for Kids in Restaurants

Mommy Myth:  Kids in Restaurants Are Unruly

Restaurant Activities for Kids -

For adults, restaurants are fun.  The ambiance.  The food.  The conversation.  Not having to cook.  It’s relaxing and enjoyable.

For kids, however, restaurants are boring.  They can’t make noise.  They can’t run around.  And they have to wait for food.  And “waiting” is not on kids’ list of favorite activities.

So we end up with bored, antsy kids and adults who are desperate for an enjoyable family outing but are instead frustrated with the situation.  In short, no one has a good time.  It becomes exhausting rather than relaxing.

But with a little planning and some activity ideas in your back pocket, you can turn a stressful restaurant experience back into a fun one.

Restaurant Activities for ChildrenFun restaurant activities -

 I Spy Letters

Using a kids menu or placemat, call out a letter and see how many times they can find that letter.  Educational and entertaining!  This game is probably for the 3 and over set.

 The Color Game

Have your child look at objects on a wall (this works well at a place that has several things hanging on the walls).  Then have her close her eyes.  Then ask her questions about the colors of the decor.  “What color is the lampshade?”    “What color is the giant spoon on the wall?”  You get the idea.

Three Sugar-Packet Monte

Instead of using three playing cards, use three sugar packets to hide a coin.  Move them around and see if your kiddo can pick which packet is concealing the coin.  Surprisingly fun!

 What’s Your Favorite?

Kids’ “favorites” change all the time, right?  So it’s fun to go around and ask each person his or her favorites.  “What’s your favorite animal?”  “What’s your favorite kind of berry?”  “What’s your favorite word?”  “What’s your favorite freckle?”  It’s funny how kids have very strong opinions about these things.  And they love to hear your favorites too!

 It’s Gone!

Put five or six items on the table in front of your little one.  Have him look at the objects carefully.  Have him turn away and take one and hide it under the table.  He then has to guess which object you removed.

 Fortune Teller

Remember these from grade school?  You fold a piece of paper (kids’ menus work fine) into a fortune teller and then write numbers, colors, and fortunes inside.  (Instructions here.)  The sillier the fortunes, the better!

Restaurant Activities for Kids -

Photo courtesy of Joamm Tall at

So, get the kids together and go confidently to your favorite restaurant knowing that you have the tools to keep them entertained.  For a little while anyway.

Photo courtesy of Dan Foy at

6 Comments on Fun Activities for Kids in Restaurants

  1. Growing Up Madison
    July 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm (3 years ago)

    I love when the restaurant provides those little coloring crayons along with paper. My kids love to play Tic Tac Toe when we’re in the restaurants and my toddler love to take the crayons and scribble everywhere. :)
    Growing Up Madison recently posted…Real Kids Shades Review and GiveawayMy Profile

    • Amber Schultz
      July 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm (3 years ago)

      It seems that the crayons only work for so long with my two. Maybe when they get a little older they will like them better.

  2. Candice @ My Little Circus & Me
    July 13, 2013 at 9:30 am (3 years ago)

    So cute love the restaurant games!! Just read your interview with Southern Mess Moms I’m also new to blogging wish you luck! Following on FB & on Bloglovin
    ~Candice @
    Candice @ My Little Circus & Me recently posted…Cat scratcher turned Towel holder!My Profile

    • Amber Schultz
      July 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm (3 years ago)

      Thank you, Candice! Southern Mess Moms’ interview was so much fun! (For those who haven’t seen it, check it out here –

  3. Josh
    July 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm (3 years ago)

    I definitely don’t advocate using electronics as babysitters, and my children have extremely limited “screen time” in the home – we ride bikes, play outside, dig in the dirt, and water the garden!

    However, a quiet dinner at a restaurant might be worthy of some Angry Birds time for the kids. :P

    • Amber Schultz
      July 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm (3 years ago)

      I agree that there are times when electronics do make things a little easier, and dinner out is one of them. Gotta love Angry Birds!


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