Going out to eat at a restaurant can be a great way to spend quality family time together, to encourage little ones to try new foods and to explore new and different areas of London. Whether it be perusing the stalls at Borough Market or sitting down to eat at a delicious, popular restaurant such as Tibits or Tootoomoo, eating out is always a unique and exciting experience. However, at times, going out to eat can be a bit of a struggle - perhaps, the food is taking ages or you've got some fussy eaters amongst your clan. During these times it's all too easy to hand over the iPad or tablet but we at Kidadl believe there's more to going out to eat than iPads! Check out our 8 fantastic activities to keep your little ones occupied and ditch the tech at the table!
Our friends over at The Kids' Table are fab at keeping little ones away from the technology and into some serious arts and crafts instead! Popping up in and around London, Surrey, Battersea, Wembley, Fulham and more, they are absolute pros at keeping your children entertained while you enjoy a meal and get some all important 'me time' - yay!
1. I-Spy – It's a classic and it works. Take it in turns to spy something in the restaurant and let everyone else guess what it is. It'll help your little one to observe and take in their surroundings and is great for passing time!
2. Take Your Own Printables – Most kid-friendly restaurants will provide colouring in sheets or other activities. If it's your first time at a restaurant print of a few before you go and take them with you. And don't forget pens, pencils and crayons.
3. Memory Games – Invite the kids to study all the things on the table for a minute then tell them to close their eyes while an object is removed. When they open their eyes ask them what's missing. Then let them do the same for you. It's bound to go on for ages!
4. Terrible Jokes – Before you go out tell everyone that they have to say at least one joke at the restaurant table. Intersperse them throughout the evening, asking everyone else to score the joke out of ten. At the end pick a winner and perhaps let them choose where you get to eat out next! Mmmm.
5. Yes Or No – A classic but a goodie. Take it in turns to ask someone a question to which they have to answer without using yes or no. Things can get tricky very quickly - can't it?
6. Telephone Game – Whisper a word or phrase in your child's ear. Then get them to whisper it into the ear of the person sitting next to them and pass it around the table until it reaches the last person to hear. They then get to reveal what they heard - trust us, you have no idea how hilarious this can get - especially with kids!
7. Alphabet Game - Choose a topic like food or pop singers then work your way through the alphabet naming something that begins with each letter (the first person has to find something that begins with A and so on). If you can't name something with your letter you're out - wish you luck for Z!
8. Who Am I ? - If you don't mind looking a bit silly this can be an hilarious way to pass the time before the food arrives. Someone writes the name of a famous person on a post-it note then sticks it to the forehead of another diner without them seeing what's written on it. They then have to ask questions to try and find out who they're supposed to be - a fantastic twist on the childhood game 'Guess Who'!