Anyone else dread taking their kids to a sit down restaurant where you know the wait for food will be awhile? I sweat just thinking about the chaos my crew could create in front of a crowd so we came up with a restaurant busy bag! This busy bag is just a backpack that stays in the car. Below is a list of activities we fill it with that keeps our two and four year old busy while waiting…well, most of the time!
Spritz Plastic Building Blocks are great for those kids that are creative thinkers and need to keep their little hands busy. My son will spend a good portion of our wait time creating robots and animals with these little guys!
Play Pack Grab and Go (crayons) and Pop-Outz Take and Play (markers) are my go to when I know I need to keep my kids busy for more than 5 minutes. These packs have a ton of favorite kid characters from movies and cartoons. Each one has a pack of crayons or markers, some stickers and something to color on (coloring book, pop-outs or notepads). Best part is they are only $1.00 each at the Dollar Tree and the One Spot at Target!
Target has put out some really cool things in their One Spot and these Quiet Books are probably my favorite find to keep both my daughter and son engaged on their own and with each other. The ones that I have found have some sort of matching numbers, shapes, colors along with tic-tac-toe, memory and other fun activities.
My son has been fascinated with puzzles lately so I added some of these smaller 24 piece puzzles from the Dollar Tree in our bag.
My daughter loves stickers and she loves creating faces. These Make Your Own Stickers-Variety Pack is a great way to keep her engaged in an activity while waiting for our food or an appointment.
The Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! and Melissa and Doug On the Go-Color Blast! is the one activity I let my kids do in the car because it is completely mess-free! The Water Wow is our favorite-you fill the brush with water and start painting. Once the page is dry you can reuse it again and again-great investment!
These crayon rolls were made by my mother-in-law and are great for keeping the crayons together so they aren’t all over in the bottom of the bag. They roll up easily for storage-easy to toss in my purse or diaper bag.
I love changing up our activities so the kids don’t get board but the Animal Doodles (Usborne Activity Cards) and Monster Doodles (Usborne Activity Cards) are a staple in our busy bag. These wipe clean cards are very durable (I’ve cleaned ketchup off of these numerous times and they still look great!) and have a variety of activities for many ages, for example: coloring in pictures, mazes, working on drawing and following directions. I love using the Magnetic Dry Erase Markers with Eraser . It comes in handy to have an eraser on the end of the marker so we aren’t digging for wet wipes or napkins.
Wikki Stix is another one of my son’s favorites. He loves creating different characters with these bendable colored sticks and then having them act out. These are very simple and mess-free.
This is my latest and greatest find! Crayola Washable Triangular Crayons ! Crayons that don’t roll! Do you know how many times I’ve crawled under a table at a restaurant to find a missing crayon?! NEVER AGAIN! These little babies are the best!
In addition to the above activities we also have a package of wipes and hand sanitizer in our bag. Also, some emergency snacks just in case they are starving and can’t wait or they absolutely refuse to eat their restaurant food. When my two were a little younger I would pack some books, a few small toys, toddler size silverware, bibs and sippy cups with a lid.
What do other people pack? Does anyone have suggestions for kids that are a little bit older? I would love to hear about them!