Our “Going Out to Dinner Kit”

This is actually something I’ve been doing for quite a long time and a friend recently brought to my attention that it was a really good idea on how to entertain the kids at dinner, that he had copied for his kids, and that I should share it!

A while back we said we were going to start “training” our kids to go out to dinner. For us this meant going to dinner somewhere super early (like early bird special 5:00 dinner) once a week  and working on just the experience of going out. This was to help with manners, how to talk with grown ups and order your meal, and how to just sit at a table that wasn’t at home and be a well-mannered child. We’ve gotten a little bit out of the regular habit, but it’s something we work on still, and I started to build my diaper bag around these outings and make it work for us.

I’m still carrying a diaper bag around and probably will be for quite a while, so I try to make the most of the space by being as prepared as possible for every outing we take. I also thought this would be good timing to share this because we’re all getting ready for a lot of holiday dinners and activities. So if you can take a few tips from what we do, and I’d love to hear what you do, I hope this helps make those dinners and activities just a little easier!

What’s in My Kit

It isn’t so much that what I’m carrying around is innovative and different. It’s really simple, it’s organized and it works for keeping the boys entertained while we wait for dinner at a restaurant. We’re pretty anti-iPad at the table (not that we never do it, but we just prefer to avoid as much as possible), so it’s like a 30 minute entertainment kit when you don’t want to give them a phone to play with.

Plus you can do this in pretty much one quick Amazon Prime order and you’re good to go! 

Coloring Pages // These half-pages were something my mom randomly found and brought to a dinner a couple years ago and I’ve been buying them ever since. They work SO much better than coloring books and they take up less space. Jackson is really into making cards right now, so these are absolutely perfect for that! 

Crayons // In a Ziploc bag with the coloring pages, each kid gets a pack of crayons. I do the larger (but not giant) crayons because they’re just a little less likely to break. I also never ask the boys to share a pack of crayons because that’s a total fight waiting to happen. This way, everyone gets their own and they get exactly the same thing.

Stickers // I change these out pretty often, and in the photo you can see I had Halloween stickers because that was right before our Disney trip. I’ve already ordered some Christmas stickers to go in the bag and will break those out on our next “out to dinner.” 

Snacks // My least favorite word in life at the moment is “snack.” Everyone ALWAYS wants a freaking snack. Since it’s a battle I’ll never win, I bring snacks. Again, I do the same thing for both kids, so that no one fights over things. I try to pick relatively healthy stuff, but will always have the occasional fruit snack, because it makes them happy. 

Little Books // Toys at dinner don’t work so I try to have a couple of little books that the boys can play with. Jackson is into paperback chapter books so, if I can, I will pack one of his current favorites, and Dylan likes this little Munchkin book with letters, numbers and animals. 

My Truffle Pouch // I have been Truffle-obsessed since day 1. I carry one in my purse with my stuff and one in the diaper bag for a changing back with pull-ups, wipes, hand sanitizer, a stick of sunscreen and Tide to Go pens. It’s really easy to just grab this out and run to the bathroom with Dylan when one of us needs to and only

What do you all take with you for dinners or places when you need to keep your kids entertained?

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