The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

How to Make Restaurant Busy-Bags for Your Toddler

April 26, 2016

Toddler sisters coloring in restaurantKeeping toddlers entertained at home can seem like a mission in itself, but how can you keep your little one occupied while trying to enjoy a meal out? It’s a luxury that doesn’t happen too often.

Enter restaurant busy bags. They’re a great way to help keep your child quietly occupied, whether at a restaurant, or the waiting room of a doctor’s office, or elsewhere.

A busy bag usually consists of simple, budget-friendly activities that parents can make in advance and keep ready-to-go at a moment’s notice.

Want to make a busy bag? Here are some suggestions:

1. Pack travel-size toys or games. Remember, you’ll be carrying the busy bag in addition to everything else that you need to take with you, so keep it light and compact.

2. Include simple arts and crafts. Items such as pipe cleaners or crayons or coloring books can keep a child occupied without making much of a mess. Some restaurants even provide crayons so that people can draw on the paper placemats. Perhaps there’s such a restaurant in your area?

3. Whatever goes into the busy-bag, stays with the busy-bag. By allowing your child to play with busy-bag items only while at restaurants, for example, you’ll make it a “special occasion” treat that likely will keep your child engaged for a longer period.

4. Personalize a busy-bag for each child. Does one child enjoy building blocks while the other child prefers to doodle? Try tailoring a busy-bag for each child’s interests.

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Categories: Parenting Tips
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