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Old 11-12-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
dmank
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tips for dining with a 20mo child??

THe little guy doesn't like being in a high chair much, unless he is eating. Even then he sometimes prefers my lap.

Does anyone know of good distractions?

He's not into coloring yet, but maybe when we go in Jan he will be.

We have also booked mostly buffets so we can get in and out fairly easily, but I know there will be a couple times I really need something small and quiet to keep him entertained.

He's my 3rd, but I still haven't found any good distractions that work well, so am posting here for any suggestions!!

thanks.
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:53 PM   #2
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[FONT="Georgia"]It's a little pricey, but we took a kid-proof (V-Tech - exceptionally durable) camera with us to WDW last spring for my 2 yr old. It has games on it that kept him still in the queues. (We did CS for meals, so...)

Does he like to make things? What about those Bend-a-roos?? You can purchase a similar product (in much smaller quantity) called Wiki-sticks - same exact thing.

As a server, they'd tell us to use cardboard coasters as building blocks, maybe pilfer a few of those for your backpack? (I guess Memory games pieces would work too)

Have you checked at the local dollar store to see if there are any little toys you could pack?[/
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:59 PM   #3
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This may sound crazy but we keep a charged portable DVD player with us!! We kept it under the stroller hidden under our extra change of clothes for the kiddos while we toured. I pulled it out for most meals especially TS. It is a must whenever we go to a restaurant!!! Also, those twirly light up toys may help, matchbox cars, playdoh, just make sure you have new toys so they seem exciting to play with on the trip. I usually pick up some things at a dollar tree before we leave.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:01 PM   #4
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thanks for the suggestions...

I do love the idea of the portable dvd, but DD4 and DS6 would probably all fight over it and complain of the unfairness of it all if the baby got to use it. I'm not lugging 3 dvd players(ha).

I do the coaster thing sometimes, or stack sugar packets. And that does sometimes work. Need more ideas like that. [wikisticks is a good idea]

He has just gotten into cars, but I could see those rolling all over the floor, and then he would want on the floor. If there are any table games with Cars, that would be ideal... hmmm.
[As a side note, when my older son was 3 he was thoroughly entertained waiting in line for rides by rolling his cars over the railings/walls/everywhere].

I'll have to load up at the dollar store... maybe playdoh.
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POP - May 2005 (One Day at WDW and we get hooked)
AKL - Jan 2007 (1 wk + dining plan when it was good)
WL - Jan 2008 (1 wk - we LOVE WL)
WL/OKW - Feb 2009 (10 nights off season before oldest starts school)
GF - Jan 30-Feb 6, 2010 (Concierge - loved that!)
AKL - 3 nights in Aug 2010 (waterparks only)
BWI - Jan 28-Feb 3 2011 (followed by 3 nights on the DREAM)
SSR - Aug 2011 (never again one whole week in August!!) followed by 3 nights in Cocoa Beach
BWV- Jan/Feb 2012 (YES program - totally fun)
VWL - Sept 2012 (10 year anniversary trip)
VGC - Feb 2013 (2 weeks later DD born-early!)
SSR - Jan 2014 (3 nights with inlaws)
HHI - Mar 2014 (one week with my parents)
Upcoming May 2015 : Vero Beach and BWI
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:17 PM   #5
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Here are a few more thoughts:

pipe cleaners (can be reused over and over)
books
rubiks cube (may not get the concept, but have fun turning the sides)
some macaroni and a couple of cups (to pour back and forth)
shape blocks/cube (the square that has all the different shaped holes and the pieces that go in the holes)
crackers/goldfish/other little snacks (so they can start eating without having to wait)
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Old 11-13-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
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New toys (small) wrapped up is what I use on airplanes. They contain say a new matchbox car or the like. Also going for walks is key. Ordering quickly. Getting DC a drink asap. Get the drink with the glow clip on car or tink. You'd be surprised how entertaining Disney can be -- kids dressed up as princesses kept my typically unhappy at a table DS happy!
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:13 PM   #7
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I used to bring the mini figurines that Disney sells at the Disney store and parks. We had a set from the Fairies, Toy Story etc. I would pack them in a freezer bag & she would play with them alot. Also magnetic paper doll type toys, WalMart has a line of these types of toys. They come in a metal tin that is the size of a story book. They had a circus theme, trucks, weather kids, and a zoo. Disney also sells a princess one, not sure if they have a boy version.
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Old 11-13-2009, 09:19 PM   #8
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I'm taking re-usable sticker books for DD2 and DS1. I'm also planning to eat quickly.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:26 AM   #9
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I agree about dollar store items - I used to go to our local ones so often! My son has ADHD, so it was a struggle, but for some reason he always has loved restaurants! Even at 3 he's sit through 2 hours of brunch at the Ritz, go figure. It was entertaining to get small amounts of different foods.

Also, he'd like a new matchbox car, but beware, they can and will end up on the floor, and you don't want germs, especially now!

I forget what age we started with Color Wonder. Those are good, cheap (well, not too expensive), and won't really stain.

I wish you luck - I'm sure with your planning it will be great! Plus, you're at Disney - there will be plenty of other parents with toddlers, walking them around and stuff. You won't be alone!
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:48 AM   #10
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Play-doh can make a real mess when those little pea size bits fall off the table (or high chair tray) and get into carpet or ground into the floor.
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Old 11-14-2009, 12:40 PM   #11
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On our very first trip to Disney on our first night there I was having dinner at the Poly with my son who was 2 at the time. He was so excited he was bouncing off the walls. I was so tired and hungry and was sitting thinking what have I done this is only our first night. The waiter must have seen the look on my face and came over and suggested he take my son to meet the chef (which was in view of our table) so that I could finish my meal. He entertained him for about 25 minutes for me. A true moment of Disney Magic
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:26 PM   #12
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we're also going to disney in January and DD will be 20 months.
The thing that both she and DS 5 love are travel magnadoodles. I have no idea why, but that's the one toy that I can pull out and it usually entertains them for a couple of minutes.
I have to admit we struggled more with keeping DS still when he was that age than we do with DD, but what we love about Disney is that no one gets totally stressed when kids need to move around.
And, they are always good about bringing food quickly (at least appetizers or bread) or it's a buffet.
Honestly, we were more relaxed as parents because they were, and then the kids responded to that.
Good luck!
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Old 11-14-2009, 03:40 PM   #13
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I have no helpful advice --except to use Disney's Kids Nite Out service. We took our first DD at that age and it was a disaster -- she just wanted to be everywhere and we couldn't enjoy our meals. We quickly canceled all of the remaining TS meals, except for one night at California Grill and hired a sitter through Kids Nite Out to go as an adults only meal. We had a great time!

DD #1 is going to be 2 1/2 at our next trip and I'm hoping this time she will be able to sit through the meals. I just think that around 18 months is the worst time for toddlers to sit through meals.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:28 PM   #14
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Try to limit her "controled" time. If you have to wait to be seated, have one parent walk outside or to an interesting place with her. When you get to be seated, request a booth if possible. Put her between an adult and the wall to avoid using a high chair. If you do need a high chair do not put her in yet. Use an amusment till you order. Try to order everything when you place your drink order. Let one adult go walk while you wait for your food. Return when the food is there. Consider ordering her desert about half way through the meal so you may have time to finish your dinner. Amusment as long as it will last till you are done.

Try to have some toys that are new or only for resturants. Stickers for the kids menu, silly putty, a roll of tape( lated an hour once for us).

Use what you have, count the sugar packs, people watch.

WDW resturants are so fun themed that you may have less of an issue than you expect.
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:36 AM   #15
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We take our dd18 months out often. She likes a booster seat much better than a highchair.
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