How to Create Coloring Menus for Kids

Coloring menus help prevent young diners from being bored.
Coloring menus help prevent young diners from being bored. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Some restaurants offer kids' menus that list food items for young patrons and provide a place to color or do puzzles or games. Restaurant hosts typically give young diners the paper menu with a cup of crayons for use at the table. This is something that creative parents can do at home, by hand or on the computer, to keep little ones engaged in an activity at the dinner table.

Compose a list of food items for the coloring menu. These meals should be uncomplicated, healthy and familiar to children and parents. Don't be afraid to experiment with selections besides the typical macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers or pizza. Use the menu to introduce new kid-friendly food items to children and include an outline drawing of the food item as it will look when it is served. Type these food selections on the menu page in a large, easy-to-read font.

Divide the rest of the page into sections. Seeing a page with several compartmentalized activities helps children decide what to do. It also enables you to include coloring activities for a variety of ability levels. Draw a simple outline drawing on your computer or download a copyright-free coloring page. Coloring menus sometimes feature outline drawings that compliment the theme of the restaurant. Insert the outline drawing into one of the blank spaces on your menu.

Find or create a second coloring page that is slightly more complicated -- one with more detail, words, numbers or a riddle. Insert it into another of the blank spaces. Insert easy word search, crossword, fill-in-the-blank or other puzzles into the remaining delineated blank spaces.

Print a copy. If you are pleased with the result, print as many as you will need for one week. Offer them to your customers -- or children -- and ask for feedback about the menu. Be open to suggestions from your customers and food servers and modify them as needed.

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