Restaurant Busy Bag for Toddlers

Mamas, have you been avoiding going out to dinner with your kids because you’re terrified of being embarrassed by your toddler or baby throwing an epic tantrum? I think we have ALL been there…You need a restaurant busy bag!

There was definitely a time when I thought I would never enjoy another meal out again. It can be super frustrating! Luckily, I came up with a solution that works for us. I can’t say we never have restaurant disasters anymore, but they are minimal. Woohoo!

How do we keep our three little ones happy and relatively quiet at meals? The answer is my magical restaurant busy bag!

Enjoying the restaurant busy bag.

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So, what’s in the restaurant busy bag?

The full restaurant busy bag

I want to make building a similar bag as easy as possible for you so I’ve provided clickable links to buy most things in the bag. I got almost everything, including the bag itself, on Amazon because I’m all about that under 2 day delivery window! Here’s what I’ve got in my bag:

  1. Disposable Bibs: Because no one wants to keep bringing dirty bibs back home to wash…
  2. Table Top Disposable Placemats: These little miracles stick to the table so you can put your plate throwing baby’s food right onto the table!
  3. OXO Spoon with Travel Case: I usually keep at least one small spoon on hand because restaurants never have them…I lost my OXO one but loved the little case so it didn’t get dirty.
  4. Small coloring books: Picked these up from Target Bullseye…I switch these out every month or so to keep things fresh.
  5. Little markers and crayons: My kids seem to love novel things that they don’t regularly use at home…They love these Crayola Mini Twistables Crayons.
  6. Sticker activity book: Because what kid doesn’t love stickers? I love the Dover Little Activity Books. There are so many choices and the stickers are reusable!
  7. Dr. Seuss Flash Card Set: The kids love the fun pictures and I swap out which one I put in the bag: numbers, letters or shapes.
  8. Emergency fruit pouch: This one is for the baby because sometimes restaurants don’t have things she likes or they’re just taking too long to bring out the food…
  9. Emergency toddler snacks: I usually choose nuts because they take a while to chew and keep them occupied. That’s a double win!
  10. Wooden Jigsaw Puzzle: My two year old is OBSESSED with puzzles right now. We went out the other night and it kept him busy for at least 20 minutes as he worked and reworked it! I included a link for a set of puzzles so you can switch out the puzzle once it gets a lot of use.
  11. The bag itself: Surprisingly, I used a travel cosmetics bag for this. It has plenty of pockets and has room for all of this stuff! This is the one I like: HaloVa Toiletry Bag.
Baby Disposable Place Mat

So there you have it! I always keep my bag packed and near the door for easy access when it’s needed. I love that it is a separate bag so I don’t have to do the diaper bag reshuffle every time we might be going out to eat…

Now that you’re prepared, go and start putting together your own restaurant busy bag! If you’re the DIY gift type like I tend to be, these would also make really unique and awesome gifts for another mama. Enjoy!

If you liked this post, check out my post on Surviving a Road Trip with Toddlers here!

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.