The house is a mess, the kids are cranky, and the first words your husband utters when he walks in the door fill you with dread: “What’s for dinner?” And that’s when you answer, “We’re going out!”
Out you go, kids in tow, only to be faced with a seemingly never-ending wait for a table. And to top it all off, in your rush out the door you forgot the kids’ electronic devices at home – along with what remained of your own patience, apparently.
Never fear, Mom! We’ve got some low-tech tricks to help you keep the troops amused and happy while you’re waiting for dinner.
1) Tell Tall Tales
Start a story with a single, open-ended sentence like, “Katie knew it was going to be a horrible day when…” and have everyone add a line or two. Keep going around the table until the story has run its course.
2) Keep Count
Pick something in the restaurant that can be counted. Have your kids tell you how many people are eating alone. Or are wearing shirts and ties. Or are on electronic devices.
3) Best and Worst
Go around the table and state the best thing that happened to you today, then the worst thing. It’s a great way of putting things into perspective!
4) Who Would Eat THAT?
Read through the menu and ask for a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on each dish. And if you get unanimous thumbs up for a dessert, order it!
5) Alphabet Fun
A is for the appetizer on Dad’s plate. B is for black on the edge of the menu. C is for Carol, the name of our waitress. Go through the entire alphabet, either collectively or as a contest, if you’re sure the loser won’t sulk!