Receive or be received? Ola! The big question! I don't know about you, but for me (with my four minis under the age of 6!), It's much easier to get people home than going out with the tribe! Children are in their business, it is also easier to follow the routine. Usually it's more Zen! Even if we have several children, I want my house to be tidy and clean when we receive people. In other words, I want everything to be to my taste! I make lists of things to do (household chores, food to prepare, etc.). Lots of things to think about and I want everything to be ready on time! As we linger over the preparations, what do we do with the children? Take care of toddlers; meet their needs; intervene; managing conflicts ... while picking up, cleaning and cooking ... We may be multitasking moms and dads, it is often a feat! With us, we can send them to play outside or put a film on them to try to keep them occupied. My thoughts led me to question myself on this way of doing things ... Why keep them so? Why not involve them in the preparations? They're still small, but if I start including them early in the tasks, it will (I hope) become natural. I just have to take the time to do it! And if we were to challenge ourselves to involve our little ones more ... In this article, I will present some little ideas that I myself would like to practice at home with my minis. For the sake of transparency, I tell you from the start, I have not tested them yet. I take up the challenge at the same time as you and I make great efforts to let go and give responsibility to my children when we expect guests! Let's go!
- Have a finger in the pie!
If your child can read, you could give him a recipe to make, such as starters. He will have to read the recipe to follow the steps. There is also the ability to properly measure ingredients. Making a recipe involves different skills in children. Otherwise, he can prepare a nice platter of vegetables with dips. In doing so, the child will work on fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Your mini will be so proud to tell the guests what they prepared and how they did it! Why not make him decorate the cake, he will be very proud of it!
- Knife Fork Spoon!
Can your child count? Wonderful! Ask him to put the correct number of cutlery (forks, knives, plates) on the table. Thus, he will work the count without even realizing it. You could also ask him to make sets: a knife, a fork and a spoon. He could also take care of making a platter of condiments. Summer is coming, BBQ season too!
- On the menu, tonight ...
To inform your guests of the meal that will be served, why not ask your child to make a poster with the menu? Even little ones who are in kindergarten who are starting to write can do this task. It's so cute the first attempts with their slightly awkward writing! The child who makes the poster will work on the one hand his calligraphy and spelling, but also the spatial and artistic aspect. How will he arrange the text elements on the page? How will he arrange the colors? If you have a bulletin board designed for this purpose, it's time to let your mini use it. Usually children like it a lot when they are left to do tasks usually reserved for adults.
- A place for everyone and everyone in their place!
Like the menu, the child can work on spelling and calligraphy by making place cards for guests and hosts. You could also ask them to make a simple drawing that matches the person next to their first name. *** By involving children, they are allowed to develop their sense of responsibility, but also their self-esteem. They are so proud to be able to help us and to be told that they have done a great job. Imagine the impact on their self-esteem when the guests congratulate them on their work! Don't forget to thank them for their help. By showing them our gratitude, we are working on their intrinsic motivation and next time, they will surely be very happy to participate again in the preparations! And There you go! These are the few little ideas that we will try to put into practice in our family for the next times when we receive guests! If things are not done as quickly and as well as if you had done them yourself, it is normal! Minis are learning. It takes practice! Go, we let go and we appreciate this little helping hand!