One of the best parts of traveling to new places is exploring new to you restaurants. But if your toddler or preschooler are anything like mine, dining out can be a pretty eventful experience. Enter the travel friendly restaurant kit! If heading out to a restaurant makes your palms begin to sweat you’re going to love this DIY Restaurant Kit for kids. It’s incredibly easy to put together and it will help keep your little ones busy so you can enjoy checking out that must visit restaurant you found when researching for your trip.
The good news is that putting together a restaurant kit is pretty uncomplicated. Ready to make one of your own? Let’s get started!
HOW TO MAKE A DIY RESTAURANT KIT FOR KIDS
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1. Find a bag to store everything in
To get started making your handy dandy restaurant kit for kids, you’ll first need to find a bag to put all of the fun goodies in. It could be as fancy as a travel bag or as simple as a plastic storage bag. Be sure to make sure that the bag you choose fits inside of your purse. Once you have your bag, you’re ready to add the activities.
2. Fill the bag with an assortment of fun goodies
The good news? It’s completely up to you! I love these bags because they can easily be changed up based on your child’s age and interests. Here’s some ideas of what to include in your kit to get your wheels spinning:
- Toys and Activities
- Small Toys (animals, princess dolls, cars, etc.)
- Twistable Crayons/Colored Pencils
- Small notebook or construction paper (to draw on or play games like tic-tac-toe)
- Wikki Stix
- Washi Tape (This removable tape is really fun to play with and the options really are endless, but one of our favorite ways to play is putting a strip of washi tape on the table to be used as a road or a line to put the small toys on.)
- Card Game (Go Fish, Alphabet Go Fish)
- Small books / learning activities (Wipe-Clean books are a favorite!)
- Other Items You Might Want to Add:
- Wet Wipes (to clean sticky hands or wipe down the table)
- Snacks (applesauce, crackers, granola bar, raisins) It’s always a good idea to keep a few snacks on hand in case you have a restless toddler. It’s amazing what a few crackers can do to help them wait for the meal to come out. Here’s some of our favorite travel snacks for kids in case you’re looking for new ideas.
- Lollipops or Fruit Snacks (for an emergency). I usually only pull these out if we are on the verge of a total meltdown when waiting for the check.
3. Pack the restaurant kit in your purse and enjoy eating out with your family at that must visit restaurant!
That’s it! Just toss it in your purse when you’re ready to head to the restaurant. Bring the activity kit out when you need it. One thing that will help keep your kit extra special is to only use it when you are in the restaurant. If you’re not careful your kiddos might even start begging to go sit down at a restaurant so they can use the kit.
HELPFUL THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
While the restaurant kit is a game changer to help keep little hands occupied while you’re dining out, be sure to consider a couple of things. What has your day looked like prior to heading out and what is your child’s normal schedule at home?
Have you been out exploring all day and your kids are totally exhausted? It might not be a good idea to head out to that sit down restaurant. Or maybe it’s over the lunch hour and really close to nap time. When traveling, I have found it helpful to be strategic when planning where we’ll be eating and to consider when my girls are more likely to be at their best. You may choose to chance it, but just know that it might not go well. Considering their schedule will help you keep your expectations in check and not be totally disappointed when your lunch with said toddler goes south.
Travel Tip: I love using the Family Travel Planner to sketch out a loose itinerary for each day. You can download your free copy below. In the planner, I jot down restaurant ideas and make notes about the type of food and if it’s fast casual, sit down, etc. If we really want to go to a specific sit down restaurant at 6, then we try to pencil in some white space ahead of time to allow for our kids to be properly rested and ready to go for dinner.
Don’t forget to grab your FREE Family Travel Planner. Fill out the form below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox.
As you can see with a little prep ahead of time eating out with kids doesn’t have to be impossible. And it doesn’t need to fill your heart with dread and anxiety. Dare I say, with the right tools it can actually be really enjoyable. Grab your handy dandy DIY Restaurant Kit for kids and get ready to enjoy all the fun new dining spots. Happy dining!