A Helpful Holiday: Setting the Table with KidsElizabeth Stark
At the end of a frantic day in the kitchen preparing a huge holiday meal, seeing a table that’s set and ready for dinner is a reassuring reminder that all the work is going to be worth it. And while setting the table’s not a terribly difficult job, I like to use it as an opportunity to involve my girls. They’re too young to blanch a carrot or separate a yolk, but they want to be a part of the meal, too. Taking a little bit of extra time to set them up with the plates and flatware gives them a sense that this is their event, too, which not only fosters a fun atmosphere, it also gives them a greater stake in seeing that the event goes smoothly, leading to less general naughtiness. The forks aren’t lined up as straight as they might be if my husband or I did it, but when we’re all about to sit down with our family and friends, it’s hard to imagine a lovelier holiday table.
To get your kids involved in setting the table, keep a few things in mind. Most importantly, don’t stress; just let the kids do their best, and you can make a few sly adjustments if needed. Also, be sure to organize everything for them. With their help, count the flatware, napkins, and plates, and set them out where kids can easily reach. Finally, have a few fun seasonal items at the ready and let the kids make a centerpiece. They can get even more crafty by adding homemade artwork or place markers to the table.
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