What I have found works best are a type of suction cup toy. Chicco makes a great one called the Touch and Spin High Chair Toy;
this is the type of toy Xavier has only we have an older model. What I like about it, is it is small and compact. I always keep at least one in his diaper bag so when we go out he always has a toy and it stays right on the table and I don't have to worry about it being thrown around the restaurant or on the floor. Another toy similar to the Chicco Touch and Spin High Chair Toy is The Sensation Station Developmental Toy by Sassy Baby this is another great suction cup toy that your little one can have at restaurants and also a nice compact size.
We also have the Melissa and Doug First Bead Maze and that is also one that occasionally we bring because it also has suction cups on it. I do not find it as convenient because it is a lot larger then the Chicco or Sassy Baby toys, but it does draw your child's attention especially if you have a toddler.
Some other good ideas are books, and the Magna Doodle. They both can still fall on the floor but chances are they are not as likely to be on the floor then if you brought some cars or blocks as toys to the restaurant.
The most important thing to remember is to have your child have good manners out in a public restaurant you have to teach them the same good manners at home. Remember to eat meals as a family as much as possible no matter how young your children are they should be at the table and you should teach them manners from the start. That way going out to dinner can be enjoyed by all of you because you can focus on the experience rather then how you should act during it.
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