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Early: In these activities we will explore making choices based on preferences/interests.

Create a restaurant game, where you take turns being a customer or a server. If you are a customer you sit at a table, and if you are a server you approach the customer with a paper and pencil. The server can give the customer 2 options for drinks and food:


Child playing with toy foodServer:

“Would you like apple juice or orange juice?”

“Would you like a cheese sandwich or a peanut butter sandwich?”


“I’d like a _____”

  • You can use pretend food, or use real food with what you have on hand.
  • You can have the child create a picture menu. They can draw the items, or cut out pictures from magazines.
  • If a menu is created the customer can point at the item while they are speaking with the server. This is a helpful strategy for anyone who is struggling to hear what the customer is asking for. It isn't something that many customers do- so it is a great strategy to introduce early on.

Extension Ideas

  • You can ask the customer to repeat their order and pretend that you are having trouble hearing them and they need to repeat
  • You can create a noisy restaurant scenario with music in the background
  • The customer could have a quiet voice or mumble
  • The customer can ask for a ‘special request’ (i.e., PB sandwich with apple jelly instead of strawberry jam, or Nutella instead of peanut butter)
  • The customer can add an unplanned item to their order (i.e., the customer might ask for a side and drink all at once)

Check out Let’s Play Restaurant for more ideas!