Wednesday, 1 February 2012
Place mats – who knew?
Like many of you, I consider meal times to be social times. I try very hard to always be at the table with my kids while they have snacks and meals. Even as young newlyweds, my husband and I made this a priority and we splurged on a beautiful dining room table. But with a toddler eating on this table several times a day it was starting to look pretty banged up and worn out. One day while wandering the aisles of the local dollar store I picked up a couple of placemats that I hoped would solve the problem. They did indeed solve the problem, but I got a lot more than I bargained for!
The length of our mealtimes has now doubled, while my daughter makes up elaborate stories about the characters on the placemats while feeding them bites of her meal. She assigns roles to each of us (daddy is Cindrella, mommy is Snow White) and we have a grand time playing our roles while enjoying our meals together. The Disney princess's placemat is my daughter's favourite, but we also have a zoo animal's placemat that we pull out once in awhile. What I've noticed is that my daughter is learning vocabulary like 'tiara' and 'jewelry' but I'm also watching her creativity shine while she creates stories from the pictures she sees. For $2.00 I opened up a whole new world of learning, without even trying. I'd say it's worth picking up a few children's placemats while you're shopping the dollar store.