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Do your kids know how to properly set the table? In our modern society, family dinners don’t happen as often as they did years ago. We are so busy with after school activities or working late, that sitting down to eat dinner together has become a rare occurrence. Families often eat on the run or at separate times, therefore kids no longer need to set the table. Setting the table is a chore that has gone to the way side most nights of the week. Yet, knowing a proper table setting is a life skill that all kids need to know before they are grown. The holiday season is a perfect time to teach your children how to set the table. During the holidays, families often take a time out, from the everyday hustle and bustle, to actually sit down and enjoy a meal with the ones they love. So, before you chow down on this year’s turkey, why not teach the kids how to properly set the table.
Do you need a refresher on how to set the table? Watch my short video below, and then share it with the kids.
Properly setting the table includes several formal options. Super formal place settings are not necessary in everyday life, and most of us don’t know how to assemble them. Kids need to know a very simple table setting. Once this skill has been learned, then basic knowledge can be applied to another formal table setting if necessary. For example, if you know the fork goes on the left, then you know all the forks go on the left, no matter how many belong on the table.
Tips to Teach the Kids on How to Set the Table
Know Your Tools
Before kids can learn how to set the table, they need to learn all the essential tools. To properly set the table, the kids will need a plate, salad plate/bowl, bread plate, fork, knife, spoon, napkin, and drinking glass. I also like to use a placemat or table cloth for easier clean up!
The plate is the center for the entire table setting. Start by placing the Dinner Plate on the table first. One plate shall be set in front of each chair at the table. Then, a salad bowl or plate can be placed on top of the main dinner plate. The salad dish goes on top because it is served first, before the main course.
Utensils will be set on the table next. The fork belongs to the left and the knife to the right the plate. The spoon lays next to the knife. The fork tines and the rounded edge of the spoon should point away from the person sitting at the table. Also, the knife blade needs to face in towards the plate.
The napkin should be placed under the fork or just to its left. If a salad plate is not included in the place setting, then the napkin can be set on top of the plate.
Have you heard of the B & D hand trick to use while setting the table?
The bread plate is set on the table to the left of the main plate and above the fork. The drinking glass is placed to the right of the main plate and above the knife and spoon. You can make a lower case b & d with your fingers on the hands that correlate with the bread plate and drinking glass. Cute trick right!?
If your children are young, it may be more difficult to teach them how to set the table. Special place mats with illustrations can help kids remember where to place the plates and utensils on the table.
Kids can practice setting the table properly this holiday season. The boys and I set our Thanksgiving table over the weekend, and I had them gather and place all the plates and utensils on our dining room table. Setting the table has become a new chore in our house. I want the kids to have more practice then once a year!
The goal is to have a family dinner at the table several nights a week, even though we are really busy!
Do your kids know how to properly set the table?