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How to Get Your Children Involved and Engaged at the Dinner Table?

June 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 158

How to get your children involved and engaged at the dinner table?

I have four daughters, so keeping everyone at the table is a daunting task. First, getting my kids to eat what's on their plate is a battle where the odds are not in the parents' favor. Second, keeping them at the table so we can all finish together doesn't seem to be in their DNA. What to do? We really want a fun and engaging family time; we want to be closer to our children -- not have them run off toward other distractions. I realized when we go to a restaurant the first thing the waiter does is gives the kids activity placemats. They can color, play games and actually want Mom and Dad's participation. So, why do we have to wait to go out to have that involvement? We don't!

Kid's placemats are a great way to get your children involved in eating, conversation and teaching table manners. Making eating entertaining is half the battle in getting your children to eat healthy, let alone finish a meal. Kid's placemats not only set a structure, they can be used to invite children into active participation at your meals. For our toddler we used washable with a non skid background. It helped contain the spills which we all know will happen, again and again) and it was an easy clean up. We soon realized she did not want to sit in her high chair and wanted to be at the table with the bigger kids, so a portable chair and the non-skid, catch all washable placemat worked perfectly. Then the 5 year old with the limited attention span, this is where the activity placemats come into play and there is no shortage of possibilities. Dry erase markers, chalk (great for traveling - just roll it up and take it with you) and even their favorite character. Since they can go through an activity placemat, we used paper disposables mostly. Easy and fun. If you're more eco-minded, the chalk and or dry erase markers work wonders. (Just watch out for the walls!)

We began using these for parties and even adult only dinners where you are not interested in coloring Dora's face. The problem is I could never find enough of a selection and my wife is picky to say the least. It had to match what we were eating, wearing and holidays too. So we found what we needed online and we are happy. I'm happy because we all eat together now and I saved a fortune from having to by a new table without crayons and markers, etc.

Placemats are not the answer, they are only a tool; your choice to do something is the answer. The family that eats together can play together, talk together and "be" together.

Zev's Variety Village. Kids placemats can be found here: See other options from holidays, colors and eco-friendly. Biggest selection of placemats online.

Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Dinner Table


Eats Together


Talk Together


Children Involved


Home Decor





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