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Having Fun Together

10 Restaurant Games to Play With Your Kids

What to do while you wait for the food to come

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Ah, the thrill of a family night out at a restaurant: someone else cooks, serves, and cleans up. And it's all a brilliant indulgence until the food takes too long to come and someone starts whining. That's when you break out these fun restaurant games for kids everyone will love.

1. Rock, Paper, Scissors. Remember this? It's a simple game that requires nothing more than a fist, but for younger kids it can be a great way to pass the time. Simply count to three and reveal your pick (rock, paper or scissors) and then see who won. Rock trumps scissors. Scissors trump paper. Paper trumps rock. If you have the same object, you start over. Never gets old.

2. Sugar Packet Magic. You might not have access to a magic kit, but three napkins and a sugar packet can recreate a shell game. Hide the packet under one of the napkins, mix them up and then let your toddler guess where the sugar is. Instant laughter.

3. Hand Guessing. This one is simple and requires just one coin. Put both hands behind your back, and have your child guess which hand holds the coin. Boom, done.

4. Telephone. Silliness almost always ensues with this classic. Start with a word or phrase and whisper into your child's ear. Then have your child whisper it into the next person's ear and so on around the table until it gets to the last person (you can play this with only three), who then reveals what they heard.

5. Yes and No. This is a question game in which the words "yes and no" are banned. Parents ask a question and the child must answer using any other words. Then the child does the same to the parent. This can be a tricky one even for adults, and kids love to see mom and dad goof up.

6. Tic Tac Toe. On scrap paper (like a napkin or kids menu), teach your kids the finer points of this tried-and-true game.

7. Alphabet Game. Starting with A, go around the table thinking of words that start with that letter. For more of a challenge, pick a category like foods. When the table is stumped, move on to the next letter!

8. Taste Test. If you are at a restaurant with condiments, have the kids shut their eyes and dab a different one on each of their fingers. See if they can guess which condiment is which.

9. Finger puppets. Your fingers double as a family of five, didn't you know? Play "dolls," with your fingers as the people.

10. Knock-Knock. We all know how the under-five set loves a good knock-knock joke. Go around the table with each person sharing their favorites or making up their own, the sillier the better. Go again and again and before you know it, dinner will be on the table.