The amusement bag

THE AMUSEMENT BAG (you need this)

Lauren from Me & My Girl shares one of her no-fail cafe tips, the Amusement Bag.  A must for mamas who prefer to sip, as opposed to scull, their coffee.The amusement bag

I’m a true Melbournian and one of my fave ways to spend the day is to hang out with my daughter at a cafe. We’re pretty lucky living northside, as we are spoilt for choice when it comes to great places to hang.

Ava is 5 and is a well-trained cafe enthusiast. I started taking her to cafes when she was a baby, where she would nap in her capsule. Skip forward to when she hit the high chair, and soon became a lover of the babycino. She has now graduated to hot chocolates, milkshakes and loves a freshly squeezed juice.

So let’s be honest here for a minute – cafe visits are not quite the same with children in tow. I learnt early on, that if I wanted to have a pleasant experience, I needed to have some entertainment on hand. And I don’t mean of the electronic variety!

As soon as Ava could hold a crayon/pencil/texta, I started taking a stash of paper and colouring books along. Gradually, our cafe visits got easier and longer, all because she was amused. The dynamic changed and our stays became fun (not an endurance test!).

Enter my lifesaver – The Amusement Bag. Nothing flash, just a bag full of stuff to keep Ava amused. We take it to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Basically anywhere that will see us spending periods of time waiting for food.

So what’s in the amusement bag? It changes each week, depending on Ava’s interests, but right now, this is what’s inside:

– pencil case full of textas, coloured pencils, metallic pens
– plain white paper
– 1x pretty patterns colouring book
– 1x Princess sticker activity book
– 1x Mermaid activity book
– scissors
– sharpener
– washi tape (pretty patterned masking tape)
– stamps
– stickers
AND my fave – a deck of Uno cards (Frozen branded of course!).The amusement bag

So this may seem like a no-brainer to some of you, but I’m constantly surprised at how many parents don’t do this. Trust me, this will win you so many extra minutes (maybe hours) and a lot less whining and asking for your phone, and the classic ‘can we go now?’. You may need to get your colouring on too, but it’s actually quite therapeutic and very on trend right now!

I’m lucky enough to have Fridays off with Ava. After her morning swimming lesson, I ask her what she’d like to do. Nine times out of 10, she’ll say ‘Can we go to a cafe Mum?’. Yep, I’ve trained her well to enjoy the things that I like to do, and almost two hours later, I’m the one telling her it’s time to go!

If you don’t already have one, perhaps a brand new amusement bag could make all the difference in contributing to a much more enjoyable school holidays.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this.
Lauren xo

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Me & My Girl amusement bag