As the above picture shows, even with the help of television, entertaining toddlers at the dinner table is a real challenge. Especially when they are bored or tired. Or bored and tired. Or bored, tired and in one of those moods when they appear to be hell-bent on making your life as difficult as possible.
In these situations, most parents’ natural reaction is to call on the tablet cavalry (i.e. find an episode of your son or daughter’s favourite show, press play, shove the screen in front of their face and turn them into a zombie with no social skills bar the ability to open their mouth when a fork or spoon is thrust in their general direction).
Let the games begin
But guess what, people? I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. Really? Yes, really. Over the course of my son’s 33 months on this planet, I have made it my mission to come up with as many different table games as I possibly can. What’s more, I have done it using only the items you will find at a standard family restaurant.
Stuff like? Like ice buckets, napkins and small jars of jam, which starred in my well-received ‘Christmas lunch with a toddler: 5 games that will help you get through it’ post. And plastic cutlery and sugar sachets, which made an appearance in my innovative ‘5 more games for entertaining toddlers’ feature.
And now? Well, now I have turned my attention to entertaining toddlers at the dinner table with the help of the humble crayon.
Introducing Crayon Bowling
Before last Sunday, I had never been a big fan of restaurants giving my son crayons. Sure, scrawling a mixture of lines and circles on whatever piece of paper or menu he could find occupied him for a couple of minutes, but after that? He threw every single one of them as far as he possibly could. And I rushed around picking them up off the ground.
So why did the events of last Sunday change my mind? They altered my perspective because last Sunday was the day I invented Crayon Bowling. As you can see from the below video, Crayon Bowling is as simple as it is effective. Here a step-by-step guide to how it works.
- Give your kid a crayon
- Line up the rest of the set on the opposite side of the table to where your son or daughter is sitting
- Challenge your little one to knock all the other crayons over by rolling their crayon at them
- Celebrate wildly when they manage to knock them all down
- Keep re-running the fun until your kid gets bored
Got all that? Great, because I don’t have anything else to say bar enjoy Crayon Bowling and make sure you give the rest of my games a try.
Until next time…