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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Teaching Children About Table Settings and Table Etiquette

Yesterday was our 4-H club's monthly meeting date.  There aren't many 4-H events going on in January, so for the meeting I (as the local 4-H leader) decided to do something different and teach them about table settings and table etiquette.  I knew that some of our members would be gone for another school event, but we still had 12 in attendance.

I have taught my own children about how to set the table correctly and continue to teach them table manners at each meal (it seems!).  I've always wanted the table set properly, for most family meal times. I guess it was drilled into me and stayed with me during my junior high and high school home economics classes, because that was always my favorite class in school.

So, as the meeting began yesterday, I asked the members to go wash their hands.  They looked at me like I was crazy (and even commented to some of the teachers in the hallway that they couldn't believe they were having to wash their hands!), but I told them that they were about to have a fancy meal and needed to listen carefully to the instructions.
Before sitting down at the table to eat, each member was given a table setting place mat, which I printed off from Parents.com.  It showed an example of a simple place setting. They had to set their place setting properly, though we were just using paper and plastic ware.
After each plate was properly set and examined, I distributed the "food", which was bowls of snacks, such as cereal, popcorn, M & M's, and things like that.
The members had to pass the bowls around the table family style and properly, from left to right.  If they needed something else, they would ask another member politely to pass the snack.
While the members ate their snack, we discussed table etiquette.  I found a lot of quizzes and information from these sites: A to Z of Manners & Etiquette and Family Education.
The children learned, but had fun while learning.  It helped to have a tasty snack mix as the entree'. Table manners are important, and learning proper ways to enteract socially with others is important. 
Family meal times have changed throughout the years, but that family time is important.  Yesterday, as going through the quiz, I asked the question, "When is it proper to begin eating your meal?"  One member answered, "After the prayer."  I loved that answer and for my own family, that's exactly when it's time to begin eating.

Great job, 4-H members!

1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

I bet they loved that! Especially since it involved those fun foods!

 
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