Today for the Play in May challenge we're Making a Thing. I make lots of things, but today I've picked a really useful one to share with you. With so many heading to restaurants for Mother's Day this weekend, it's timely, too!
We go out a lot, especially when Doug's off weekends and we have time to catch up with friends. It's not just restaurants, though. We go to museums, coffee shops, art galleries... there's so much to do in Austin. Phee comes for all of it, too. She loves museums, especially art museums. And she's taken to ordering for herself at restaurants which is pretty darn cute.
We skipped restaurants for a while when Phee was around two years old. For a period of time, we mostly did lots of entertaining at home. A newly mobile and talkative child who wants nothing more than to explore a restaurant is cute, but also disruptive. She was always well behaved, but for the sake of warm dinners and not having to chase her, we just stayed in more.
After that age and stage passed, everything was fine. We always made sure she had some activity to do and something to color and that usually did the trick until her food arrived. This notebook has been one of the best things we've had. It's nearly full now and I'm looking for another one that's constructed the same way.
A good notebook to keep in your purse has a sturdy plastic front and a little pocket where you can stash stickers. I love these monster and robot stickers! She can make her own creations and draw pictures around them. Other good choices are themed sheets of stickers (farm and animals, undersea, zoo, etc.) that can be used to spark imagination and keep your little one entertained for a while.
To go with the notebook, I always have a pen and some crayons. We also have this cool 4-color pencil which we've gotten many times on Southwest airline flights. It comes in their kid pack and it's great. I have several little 4-pack boxes of crayons which you often get at restaurants, too. Those boxes never hold up, though, and I don't like digging for crayons in my bag. I also don't like carting a separate bag for Phee around so I wanted a solution that was simple and small.
This did the trick! A Nuun tab canister holds the crayons and pencil perfectly and doesn't take up much space in my bag. Just cut paper to fit and cover the canister and glue it on. (Side note: The Nuun tab canisters have some sort of preservative thing in the lid which can easily be removed so that it doesn't get poked and leak. We took it out and it didn't affect the lid at all.) Add some stickers or your kid's name, and then cover it with a few layers of modge podge. It's a quick fix and it's cute.
How do your kids entertain themselves when the crayons and single drawing page at restaurants have run out? Do you take notebooks along when you visit museums so your kids can record and draw what they're seeing?
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Check the links below to see what the other bloggers joining in Play in May are making this weekend. Link up with us, too!
Linked up at SITS Girls, The Recipe Critic, Mary's Kitchen, My Life of Travels & Adventures, Ladybug Blessings.