We have a magic bag of things we take out to restaurants.

I don’t want to sound like a show off, but we have four sets of grandparents (…divorce…not what I’m showing off about), five sets of siblings, and our combined friendship groups all close enough to see each other over food and drink, so naturally we end up eating out quite a lot. Yes, it’s massively expensive, but a core part of our budget & means we don’t spend money on other things. Well, that’s the idea, anyway…

When we head out to a pub or restaurant, we have a tote bag that comes along with. When I recently did a declutter of our coat hooks, I found three different restaurant bags from previous trips! It’s funny how the items inside reflect the ages of the children at the time! It was like a stroll down memory lane.

The restaurant bag is a simple concept. Just a bag of things we take with us to keep the kids entertained whilst they wait for their food & for parents to finish their own meals. I’m not here to pass judgement, but screens in restaurants are just not for me, so we have a bag of items for all the kids to play with. And might I say, it works beautifully on the train too!

”What’s in the bag?”, I hear you cry! Our kids are 6, 4 & 3 years old, so there’s a wide range of things we could have, but the key is that they are small and light. If you have ideas for different ages, maybe you could chuck your ideas in the comments to make the post a helpful reference for anyone thinking about starting up their own version of a restaurant bag. Here’s what’s in ours at the moment:

• Blank A4 Printer Paper
• Pencil case & barrel sharpener
• Several Top Trumps sets
• Dobble (amazing card game for all ages)
• Origami paper and instruction book
• A few little books to read
• Little Tupperware pot of Lego
• Couple of Happyland characters

As you can see, it’s a mish-mash of a few things to keep idle hands busy in a public scenario and will help you to enjoy your meal out together without the stress. Just remember to check under the table before you leave! It’ll be a graveyard of discarded toys – but worth it for a calm and happy mealtime!