Family Rituals

Setting & Clearing the Table Together

Setting the Table
An Important New Tradition for Families

Preparing food is a team effort. Older children and both parents can pitch in with the preparation of the food. Cleaning up afterward is an opportunity to get younger children involved. Here are some things to keep in mind as you establish a routine that teaches, entertains and helps you out, too.

Start early.
Little children love to be involved in adult activities, so get them to help with the table as soon as you can. 3-5 year olds can set out plates, utensils and napkins you’ve counted out. As they get older, kids can even count them out themselves. Once they have finished, encourage them to take their dirty plate off the table.

Match children of different ages with age-appropriate tasks.
Older kids can carry dirty dishes to the sink, scrape plates and take out garbage or compost. Pre-teens and teens can prepare the table with salt, pepper, extra napkins and drinks. Then after, they can even help wash and dry dishes or load the dishwasher and put away the leftovers.

Take the bore out of the chore.
As children get older they may start to moan about cleaning up – just like many of us! Stay firm and remind them that the family is a team where everyone does their bit. There are ways to introduce a bit of fun: Play music and dance while you do dishes. Have a group sing-a-long. Create an assembly line from the table to the sink and another from the table to the fridge. Everyone stand in place and pass your way to a clean table. This is where family rituals begin, and remember, it’s never too late to establish a new tradition worth handing down!

When washing, try Dawn® Platinum. Its powerful formula cuts down on your need to scrub. For more help with dish duty, have kids dry and put away dishes.

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