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  • Writer's pictureIlaria Cadoni

Shall we set the table together?

Have you ever said or thought these phrases:

"Don't touch the glass, it's dangerous!"

"You are too little, so use the plastic plate."

"This cutlery is not for you."

As parents, we often feel the need to protect our children from harm, and this can lead us to discourage their curiosity and desire to explore the world around them. We may fear that they will injure themselves or damage objects, and therefore try to prevent them from taking risks or making mistakes. However, this approach can be detrimental to their development and learning process, as it hinders their natural curiosity and creativity.

What if we set the table together with our children instead?

When we set the table as part of our daily routine, we can either rush through it hastily or take the opportunity to do it mindfully and intentionally. By cultivating curiosity and interest. We can motivate our children to listen carefully to instructions and take care of themselves and their surroundings. Engaging children in practical life activities is an excellent way to promote their learning and development. These activities involve common actions that resemble real-life situations, which help children develop autonomy, self-esteem and acquire new skills.Additionally, these activities provide an opportunity for parents to strengthen their emotional bond with their children by spending quality time together. By giving children trust and support, we encourage them to get involved, demonstrate their skills and abilities, and experience new circumstances. Trust and support are essential to building self-esteem in children. As a part of this learning experience, we are avoiding the use of plastic. Our aim is to help children learn about different objects such as glass, porcelain, and metal by perceiving their weight and shape. This will enable them to understand how to handle and move these objects with the appropriate amount of force. All of this, of course, requires trust, patience, and prudence on our part as educators.

How can we encourage the children to set the table together?

We can designed a program that includes different activities to help children become familiar with different objects, learn about managing space, and understand how to perform certain actions.

In the first step, we introduce children to all the necessary elements required to set a table, including porcelain plates, glass cups, and metal cutlery. We demonstrate how to handle these fragile items with care and attention by moving slowly and allowing them to explore them.

In the second step, We are introducing a new concept called the "guide placemat" which is designed to help individuals learn how to perceive, manage, and organize space effectively. By using this placemat, you can have a guide to follow that will enable you to position objects in the correct way according to the different silhouettes drawn on the placemat. Making the placemat is simple; all you need to do is take a paper placemat and use a permanent marker to trace the different profiles of the utensils. With this, we can create an engaging activity with our children.

The third moment in teaching children is when they demonstrate good proficiency in manipulating all objects safely and precisely. At this stage, we can prepare the table together without using a guide placemat. Instead, we can use a tablecloth. As the children progress, we can also add other elements to the table, such as the bread basket, water jug, and fruit basket.

In the process of learning, it is crucial to provide guidance to children, demonstrate trust, and convey calmness even when they make mistakes. We aid in their development and encourage their eagerness to learn through real-life experiences.

Are you ready to set the table with your children?

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