Restaurant Waiting Games

What To Do

Folding Fun

  • Keep a small packet of origami paper (available in craft stores) in your handbag; it’s packaged with instructions that older kids can follow on their own, and adults can entertain younger ones by making the simple folded sculptures for them.

Mind My Manners

  • Choose five or so rules for the game, for example:
    • Use quiet voices
    • Keep your elbows off the table
    • No interrupting
    • Put your napkin in your lap
    • Take small bites, no gulping
    • Taste everything and so on, depending on the ages of your children
  • Divide into teams (split kids and adults).
  • Whichever team has the fewest infractions by the end of the meal wins all the after-dinner mints or picks the next restaurant or movie rental.

Talk It Up

  • Isn’t that what mealtime is all about? Pick topics to talk about at the table, for example:
    • “Ask me any question about my childhood.”
    • “What was the strangest thing you saw today?”
    • “If you could change one thing in your school, what would it be?”
  • Encourage all the family members to have their say.
  • If older kids have had enough family time for the day, opt for two tables (one for each generation) and an evening of peaceful, adult conversation.
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