While waiting for your food in a restaurant, hold back a menu from the server and play this little game with your child.
Not only will your food arrive before you know it, your child will also have practiced the English alphabet.
Note: Please be careful with the menus. Some of the menus may be made of paper and the last thing you want is to unintentionally destroy restaurant property.
Objective(s) of activity:
Look through the menu for food items or words which start with each letter of the English alphabet in sequence.
If there are no food items starting with a particular letter, make up a food item that could be sold in the restaurant with an accompanying description.
Targeted age group:
Children from 5 to 7 years of age would benefit from this game. Children who are older may not be as interested in playing as this is quite a simple activity.
However, I do have some suggestions for scaling up the activity below.
Number of participants:
One child is sufficient to play this game.
When you have ordered your food, the server will usually take all the menus away. Hold one back in order to do this activity.
Tell your child that he/ she is now going to make alphabet soup using the food items listed in the menu.
However, she has to start from a food item starting with the letter ‘A’ and then go through the English alphabet finding food items all the way to ‘Z’
If the menu is a small one, you can identify any word in the menu. It does not have to be the name of a food item.
If there is no word starting with a particular letter, eg. Q or Z, then you can ask your child to make up a food item that could be sold in the restaurant.
Eg. If you are in an Italian restaurant, something like ‘Zucchini Salad’ might work.
In order to add excitement to this activity, you can use a stopwatch to see how fast your child can find all the required food items.
Your child can then do the list again and see if she can beat her previous time.
Notes for scaling up difficulty:
If your child is up for a challenge, you can require two words to be chosen per letter.
However, a more interesting challenge would be to go through the alphabet in reverse. So, your child will first look for a food item starting with the letter ‘Z’ and then move backwards.
Share in the comments the menu mayhem that was created.