Setting the Table
Here's a kid-friendly function that can last the whole year long! Thanksgiving is the perfect time to begin teaching your children the basics of table-setting etiquette -- after all, there will be plenty of relatives around to gush over their handiwork. Make the task simple by using printable table-setting cheat sheets, which show children where the various utensils and dishes should be placed. You can find a version of these templates at Parents.com. Even tiny tots can help prepare the dining area by arranging napkins and placemats on the table. Children ages 5 and up can be more involved in the table-setting process by carrying in plates (although fine china should probably be left to adults), silverware and condiments, while preteens can channel their future table-waiting abilities by taking drink orders and filling the requests once dinnertime is near. It's wise to have an older teen or adult supervise the process, however, or else each place setting might wind up with three forks, two glasses and seven napkins.