Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pin 160

Original pin:
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Tic-tac-toe with sugar packets while waiting on restaurant food.

I didn't plan on doing this one this week so I don't have pictures of my own to share. Guess that is a little what this pin was about anyway. There are actually a few ideas on keeping kids entertained at a restaurant.

My oldest is 5 and in the last six months or so finally figured out the whole tic-tac-toe thing. We tried this out this week as we waited on our food to arrive. It is a clever idea and he was really into it as I set it up. However, my sweet little five year-old does not have the delicate touch required to place the sugar packets without knocking over the balanced knives. We had to reset the game board after each of his moves. We only made it through one game before we both we ready for something else.

If you read the comments on the original post there are some pretty hot opinions about kid's behavior in restaurants and what you should and should not allow your kids to do. I try to teach my kids to be respectful in restaurants and in all honesty, we just don't go out much to restaurants that don't have a playground. A little sad, right??

In the spirit of the original post, here is what I have used to entertain my kids at restaurants:

1. If I am really planning ahead, I will grab our memory card game. (Which happens to be one of our favorite story characters: The Pigeon Wants a Match)

Its fairly easy to clear the table enough to set this one up. Sometimes we half the deck if there is not enough room.  We could just as easily grab any card game--Old Maid, Go Fish, but Pigeon Match is our favorite (and it's all packed in that cute little pigeon bag!).

2. I spy. Big Brother's favorite game. We play this everywhere when we are waiting. The doctor's office is an especially hot spot for this game but it works for a restaurant too.

3. Hot Wheels. I usually have a few roaming around in my purse somewhere. It comes with the territory of having two boys. These usually occupy but you run the risk of having to fish them out from under the table over and over again.

4.  After the tic-tac-toe game we moved on to this one: I had some fruit snacks in my purse but you could do this with anything. Sometimes I use TicTacs, Skittles, or any little reward you can think up. I don't necessarily want to give them a bunch of sugary treats right before a meal so the challenge for me is to see how long I can make a fun size pack last and keep them entertained. I ask them a question and if they get the answer right then they get one fruit snack (or TicTac, or Skittle, etc.) If they get it wrong then they get nothing. There is a fine line between hard questions to make the pack last and easy enough to keep them engaged. You can ask questions that take them time to figure out like, "How many sugar packets are in the dish" and "How many letter "a'"s are on the menu?" My five year-old gets lots of spelling words, math problems, history "Who is the President?", geography "What is the capital of Texas?", while my little one gets questions like, "What letter does purple start with?" and different color, shape, number, letter, relative ("Who is mommy's sister?") type questions.

5. Stacking Cheerios. When my youngest was little my oldest would play this one. Now that my baby is nearly three I don't usually have Cheerios stashed in my bag anymore.

6. If we are starting to fail, we order a bowl of chips and salsa--or whatever appetizer is on the menu that can be prepared in minutes.

Total cost: $0 unless you count the cost of food.

Total time: 30 seconds to set up. Entertained us for 2 minutes.

Final verdict: We'll try it again when he's older but constantly picking up the knives and rebuilding was just a little of a pain.

And since I have no tic-tac-toe picture I'll just share with you some thankful art that came home from preschool this week. I absolutely LOVELOVELOVE this piece. It is going in the safe.

Me too, buddy, me too.

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