I’m always looking for ways to keep my toddler distracted in restaurants in the time it takes between ordering his spaghetti (and it’s always spaghetti if he’s choosing), and it arriving at the table.  These table mats take 5 minutes to design and print-off onto A3 paper using simple clip art frames, and I’ve taken to keeping a stash in the car ready to whip out whenever life slows to an unpalatable pace for a 2yr old. The surprising news is that these are even more popular with grown-ups, particularly as a post-prandial activity when inhibitions have been dampened by alcohol and everyone fancies themselves an artist.  We keep the best – or the most irreverent – and hang them in the kitchen. For older kids the following suggestions also work well:

  • Draw your favourite outfit
  • Draw the Christmas / birthday present you want most in the world
  • Draw your favourite meal (though this can be a dangerous game, particularly if what you’re actually serving is considered a real let-down in comparison, and/or contains an inappropriately high level of vegetables…