Don’t banish fidgety kids to the corner! Try these smart tactics―from magic tricks to waiter service―to keep them engaged.
Provide a distraction. “From about age five, kids should be ready to sit through the entire meal,” says 2008 Idaho Teacher of the Year and a 24-year teaching veteran Carol Scholz, but they can still use a little help making it to the end. “Have a few quiet activities ready in case they get antsy,” she suggests. Stow project bags with paper, crayons, and stickers under their chairs to pull out when boredom strikes.