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Teaching Kids to Set the Table

Little girl setting her place at the table

Children help Set the Dinner Table

As any parent can tell you, getting meals on the table can be a busy and stressful time. One way to make mealtimes flow smoother, is to get the kids involved in the preparation. I love having the kids help me cook but there are other ways they can pitch in as well. Setting the table and clearing it off after a meal is a valuable skill that even toddlers can learn.

You may want to avoid using glass dishes and cups if you are having young children set the table. I love using unbreakable plates and cups so I don't have to worry about drops and breaks. Besides, there are so many playful plates, cups and utensils out there that kids are excited to prepare their place at the table.

My daughter was thrilled to set up her own spot with her Minnie Mouse Mealtime Set. I find that most young children actually want to help and like to feel useful. We talked about where the different plates and utensils would go. She remembered how the table looks when I set it, and she was able to set her spot in a similar fashion.

Store kid friendly plates, cups and utensils in a location where your child can easily reach them. A low cabinet is perfect for this. Then it will be easy for your child to bring the items to the table and place them in the correct spot.

Your child will feel so proud that they were able to help!

Happier Mealtimes

My kids typically eat more when they have chosen their place settings. Eating more = less nagging from me. This may result in happier mealtimes.

setting the table

When mealtime is over, kids can help to clear the table. This may involve throwing food in the trash or even placing items in the dishwasher for older kids. For younger children, simply placing empty cups, dishes and utensils in the sink is a big step.

Clear the Table

When a child has picked out their table setting and set the table, they feel more connected to the meal being served.

When a child has picked out their table setting and set the table, they feel more connected to the meal being served. Dinner is not just something that magically appeared on the table. They also learn that the table doesn't clear itself and that everyone in the family is expected to contribute to household chores. Something as simple as setting the table has the potential to teach a valuable lesson to children.

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