Teach your children the proper way to set a table with our easy-to-follow guide.
Our lives are so busy these days, we often forget how necessary it is to let kids help us. It seems easier (and faster) to do things ourselves, and when time is limited, we'd rather relax and have fun with our kids. But setting the table is a task suited for children, and when kids help around the house, they feel like important members of the family (and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with a job well done). What's more, setting the table is a good way to show we care about the people who will sit down to eat with us -- it's an act of dignity, respect, and love.
This table is ready for guests to sit down. Each person needs a dinner plate, a bread-and-butter plate, silverware, and a glass (if wine is served, include a wineglass). Kids can carry everything to the table in piles and then arrange it. The placement of silverware is logical: in the order it will be used, from the outside in. The only exception is dessert silverware, which rests horizontally above the plate or is brought in with dessert.
For the most part, setting the table means following rules. But one place you can be creative is with the arranging of the napkins. You can fold them into rectangles or triangles or even into showier designs.
This rolled napkin is fancy yet easy enough for kids to do. To make it, fold a napkin in half. Lay it in front of you with one short end closest to you. Fold this end up by about an inch, then slowly roll the napkin up, keeping the edges lined up and smoothing out wrinkles. Tie it with an 18-inch piece of ribbon. Place the napkin on the plate with the sewn edges pointing toward the chair.
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