Not every trip to a restaurant with your preschooler can be perfectly executed. As much as parents practice ‘please’ and ‘thank yous’ and encourage dinner conversation, children have different needs than adults and certainly different patience levels. For this reason, many family friendly restaurants provide paper placemats and crayons. That said, many restaurants do not provide child friendly activities.
I came across a neat solution to stave off boredom without being too burdensome to parents.
It is called Art Roll to Go. The product can be found here: http://www.thepiggystory.com/artroll.php. It is a great way to organize a set of drawing tools for your little one in an aesthetically pleasing and kid friendly package. The roll is crafted from 100% cotton and is an eco-friendly answer to the pencil boxes of our childhood. Instead of dingy old ziplocs, broken crayons or a rainbow of colors drawn onto the inside of your purse, this compact holder offers a great ‘grab and go’ solution.
They offer some adorable designs including princesses, mermaids, dragons, dogs and more.
With crayons in hand, your little artist can draw until the Lion Special (spaghetti with one meatball, my childhood favorite) is served. If the restaurant doesn’t have a place mat with activities, grab paper and your art roll and have your child try a few of these:
- Draw what he/she saw on the drive or walk to the restaurant
- Draw what he/she is getting for dinner or dessert
- See how many little words they can make out of R-E-S-T-A-U-R-A-N-T
- Draw a placemat and then draw table items into their proper place (ex fork, knife, glass)
- Make a family portrait (or a portrait of those sitting around the table)
- Count the people at the table (or tables near by) and write the numbers down.
Parents should evaluate the appropriateness of any product in their own child’s situation. Please feel free to check the consumer product safety commision (http://www.cpsc.gov/) or with other groups that test the safety of children’s products.