Dining should be a delicious experience, right? So how do we increase the yummy parts of eating out with your little one and decrease the crummy tantrums, etc?
Cubic Frog® has got playful, easy tips for eating out with toddlers right here.
Learning restaurant manners and etiquette is a skill that must be formed. And we’re not talking about which fork is for salad and which is for the main course. Sitting in a strange environment, using patience, an appropriate voice level, etc are intelligences that we must pass on to our children with practice.
Practice makes perfect.
And the perfect type of practice? Play practice, of course!
Any parent will tell you, taking your little one to restaurant after restaurant in order to learn these skills is not pleasant for child, parent, or patron.
So, what’s the solution? Play!
Introducing the concept of going out to eat through imaginative play may seriously help transition into some fantastic family dining experiences.
Turn your home into a pretend restaurant and have your child go through from start to finish; ordering food, waiting and receiving their dish, and finally having their place cleared and paid. If old enough, make sure to switch roles and let your child be the server as well.
Create a restaurant playset so children can pretend with each other and on their own.
Kids games that emulate restaurants make if possible for your child to practice being in a restaurant at any time and anywhere.
Consider one of the many apps on the market which simulate restaurants, kitchens, and cooking. We don’t mean to brag, but our Preschool EduKitchen, is an educational app which teaches children important skills like numbers, shapes, letters, recycling all in the setting of a kitchen and with the help of adorable, animated 3D characters.
A Few of my Favorite Things
When it’s time to make the jump to the real deal of eating out, let your child bring a few of their favorite objects to make the restaurant feel more like home. Sometimes some little like a child’s favorite plate or spoon set can make a big difference to them feeling comfortable.
And we’re not talking about early-bird specials. Take your little one out to eat starting at an early age, and don’t limit yourself to ‘kid’s restaurants’. Going to the same restaurants multiple times also helps toddlers feel more relaxed.
Set an Example
Remember, your toddler will naturally imitate you in your actions and your emotional state. One of our best tips for eating out with toddlers is to simply act the way you’d like your child to act.
These seemingly small tips for eating out with toddlers can go a long way in making it easier and more enjoyable to go out to meals with your little one.