So, you have a family coming over that has children. You, yourself, have children. You find that these children actually WANT to help out. What can they do?
Or, you and your children are going to visit another family. What can your children do?
Or, you are home all alone with your dear family. What can your children do?
It doesn’t require a special occasion to see those kids in action. Some of my favorite memories, growing up, are centered around brooms and dishwater. Work can be enjoyable! And kids are capable beyond what we tend to give them credit for. Consider giving them the following little tasks:
Before the meal:
- Set out one dinner plate at each chair (if you have an old enough or responsible enough child to handle the breakables).
- Place one napkin to the left of each plate.
- Set a fork on each napkin.
- Place a knife (facing in) to the right of each plate.
- Place a spoon beside every knife.
- Set out the salt and pepper shakers/grinders.
- Take the basket of bread to the table.
- Put the butter dish and butter knife on the table.
After the meal:
- Put your own dishes away (beside/in sink – carefully – or rinsed off and placed in dishwasher. This one will have to be played by-ear if you are a guest in someone’s home.)
- Collect the napkins at the end of the meal, and put them in the laundry hamper (or other designated place).
- Collect the silverware and put it in the sink or dishwasher.
- Put any potholders/trivets away in their proper places, if no longer in use.
- Clean up any mess you made: spilled or scattered food on the floor, your chair, or around your setting on the table.
- Wash your hands after you are done with your tasks.