Let’s face it – bringing kids to a restaurant can be exhausting! Even the most family-friendly restaurants can’t help every child who won’t sit still or won’t tell you why they’re crying. That’s why finding the right activity can make all the difference in the world. So if you need restaurant activities for kids, make word searches!
Why Word Searches Beat Other Restaurant Activities
Word searches offer a number of benefits over other restaurant activities. Most importantly, word searches are a quiet activity. In many ways, this is preferable to noisy video games or toys in an already noisy restaurant. Word searches also limit your child’s screen time. Plus, your kids will learn while playing. Word searches build vocabulary and inspire creativity.
Sometimes restaurants will provide a small activity mat, but these do not always keep kids engaged for a long time. A word search will go further than a maze, for example. You can even make word searches more difficult or more personal to heighten the level of engagement. Just make sure not to make it too difficult so they don’t get discouraged. Instead, you can create an endless amount of word searches and present a new one to them each time you’re at a restaurant. They’re easy to keep in a purse, making them easy to hand out whenever you need one!
How to Make Restaurant Word Searches Extra Special
Word searches make a great addition to a restaurant activity bag, also know as a busy bag. Kids can solve their word searches with crayons, colored pencils, or markers for extra fun. Choosing one color for each word would certainly make a solved puzzle fridge-worthy!
You could even print the puzzles onto colored paper or design paper. This works particularly well with puzzles in a particular shape. A pumpkin word search on orange paper or a heart word search on red paper will look adorable. Plus your kids can trace the outside of the puzzle before or after they find all of the words.
Your homemade word searches can go into a complete workbook, too. Carla, the mom behind Small + Friendly made this awesome no-sew crayon wrap: it’s essentially a felt notebook with a crayon holder. You can take it a step further by printing out small word searches and inserting them in place of regular paper.
Types of Restaurant Word Searches to Make
The beauty of making your own word searches is that you can make them with any and every word you’d like! If you want to make a word list specifically as a restaurant activity, consider making some puzzles with food themes. These word lists could include your kids’ favorite food or drinks, foods found in different meals, or different food groups to teach kids about nutrition. You might even encourage picky eaters to try new flavors with a word search like this:
If you visit a favorite restaurant a lot, you might make a word search based on that restaurant like this puzzle creator did:
Word searches based on your kids’ favorite activities, books, movies, or anything else would work well, too. Kids love talking about their favorite things, so finding them in a word search would be great fun!
Finding the right restaurant activities for your kids can be tough, but we bet a word search fits the bill. A crossword puzzle makes a great choice, too, and you could always mix and match the two in an activity book. Make your first word search or crossword puzzle today to enjoy a good meal with your happy and occupied kids.
Kristen Seikaly used her artistic background, research skills, and love for the internet to launch her first blog, Operaversity. Now she uses the skills to connect teachers, parents, and game enthusiasts with Crossword Hobbyist and My Word Search. She studied music at the University of Michigan, and now lives in Philadelphia.