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23 Creative Ways To Keep Your Kid From Melting Down At A Restaurant

Because you've had enough take-out.

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Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

1. Play silverware and sugar packet tic-tac-toe.

You can also use straws instead of utensils.
kiwicrate.com

You can also use straws instead of utensils.

2. Keep your kids entertained the way Cracker Barrel kept you entertained.

You can order these old warhorses here for $2.99 each.
Flickr: onefish2 / Via Creative Commons

You can order these old warhorses here for $2.99 each.

3. Wow your kids by turning a paper straw wrapper into a rose.

It's easier than it looks. Find a how-to video with simple directions here.
howaboutorange.blogspot.com

It's easier than it looks. Find a how-to video with simple directions here.

4. If the paper rose seems too complicated, try the old "growing worm" trick.

youtube.com

It's as simple as bunching the wrapper up at the end of the straw and then dripping water on it, but here is a how-to video anyway.

5. Put velcro on craft sticks so your kid can have fun making shapes and letters.

Stash them in an activity box from Target's dollar section and you've got an awesome on-the-go activity. Learn more here.
tottreasuresnorthbay.blogspot.com

Stash them in an activity box from Target's dollar section and you've got an awesome on-the-go activity. Learn more here.

6. DIY an I-Spy bottle.

Fill a bottle with rice and "treasures," then let your kid shake, shake, shake it until they spy them all. Learn more here.
meetthedubiens.com

Fill a bottle with rice and "treasures," then let your kid shake, shake, shake it until they spy them all. Learn more here.

7. Come prepared with some conversation starters.

Before you sit down have some questions ready that will interest your kids, like "If you could live inside one movie, which would it be?" and "Which cartoon characters are your parents most like?"
Sanneberg / Getty Images

Before you sit down have some questions ready that will interest your kids, like "If you could live inside one movie, which would it be?" and "Which cartoon characters are your parents most like?"

8. Bring crayons in this super-portable pencil/crayon roll.

Perfect for tossing in your purse and forgetting about until you need it. Find the DIY here.
thespohrsaremultiplying.com

Perfect for tossing in your purse and forgetting about until you need it. Find the DIY here.

9. An Altoids tin also makes a great, pocket-sized crayon holder.

Learn how to DIY one here.
agirlandagluegun.com

Learn how to DIY one here.

10. Have another Altoids tin? Use it to make this magnetized fishing set.

This one will have you saying, "Give mom a try!" Find the DIY here.
doodlecraftblog.com

This one will have you saying, "Give mom a try!" Find the DIY here.

11. Fill a medicine container with small toys.

Find this idea — plus 15 others — here.
therulesofmotherhood.com

Find this idea — plus 15 others — here.

12. Challenge your kid with a game of "disappearing objects."

Step 1) Group items together on the table. Step 2) Tell your kid to close their eyes. Step 3) Hide one of the items.Step 4) Tell your kid to open their eyes and figure out which item is missing.
Mike Spohr / BuzzFeed

Step 1) Group items together on the table.

Step 2) Tell your kid to close their eyes.

Step 3) Hide one of the items.

Step 4) Tell your kid to open their eyes and figure out which item is missing.

13. Make a car caddy so your kids can go "vroom-vroom" at the table.

This caddy folds up nice and compact. Find the DIY here.
createohlala.blogspot.se

This caddy folds up nice and compact. Find the DIY here.

14. Let your kids build with Lego bricks — without making a mess.

Lego on-the-go. How cool is that? Find the DIY here.

15. Pipe cleaners and beads are all your kids will need to get their craft on.

Find this idea — plus other good ones — here.
sometimescreative.blogspot.com

Find this idea — plus other good ones — here.

16. Play a back and forth drawing game.

You draw something, then your kid draws something. Learn about this drawing game — and others — here.
artfulparent.com

You draw something, then your kid draws something. Learn about this drawing game — and others — here.

17. Use a coffee cup sleeve and stirrers to make a super cool train.

Find the tutorial for this and five other ideas here.
whatimade.com

Find the tutorial for this and five other ideas here.

18. Let your kid use your phone — without the guilt.

Find a list of parent-approved apps here.
Ldprod / Getty Images

Find a list of parent-approved apps here.

19. Give your kid a pocket Etch-A-Sketch.

Order them here from $4.75.
Flickr: thisisgeometry / Via Creative Commons

Order them here from $4.75.

20. Going to a restaurant that doesn't have kid-friendly placemats? Bring some of your own!

Order eight placemats — plus three soy crayons — here for $4.99.
bedbathandbeyond.com

Order eight placemats — plus three soy crayons — here for $4.99.

21. Another option is to bring this reusable chalkboard placemat.

Find the DIY here.

22. Fool your kids with the sugar packets and penny trick.

You know, like the classic cups and balls magic trick. Find this fun idea and many more like it here.
repeatcrafterme.com

You know, like the classic cups and balls magic trick. Find this fun idea and many more like it here.

23. Teach your kids to turn two straws into an adorable heart.

Ex-straw-dinary. Find the tutorial — plus a how-to video — here.
thecheesethief.com

Ex-straw-dinary. Find the tutorial — plus a how-to video — here.

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