New craft projects always evoke a flood of inspiration and ideas. As ridiculous as this sounds, I sometimes find myself with a mild case of insomnia as my mind races with new ideas to “execute”. Such was the case with the recent discovery of the fun and creativity one can experience with appliqué. Since the closet is bursting with the wee ones’ new summer t-shirt collection, it was time to move on. The appliqué obsession had to end…..or not. I decided to apply my new found crafting hobby to the little Montessori makeover that’s going on around here.
I’m currently in the process of analyzing all areas of our home to discover ways to make them more kid friendly and accessible. Despite the fact I’ve already done this in the past, I’m consistently discovering ways to tweak our household systems and help foster independence in the boys.
With two growing monkeys in the house, we seem to spend a great deal of time eating! Mealtime seemed like a logical place to begin my “review”. Though we always sit down as a family at the “big table” for our evening dinner, the wee ones have their own snack table where they dine for breakfast, lunch and snacks. We’ve actually had this table set up for a couple of years. It’s a sweet little antique table that I sized down by chopping off the legs (gasp! I did not tell the dealer my plans!). Someday when the kids are grown, it will make a quaint coffee table. The kids have a small selection of tablecloths and their own glass vase that they love to arrange with freshly picked wildflowers.
We’ve been pretty good about enforcing the rule that they sit at the table to eat, whether it is a three-course meal or just a simple banana. I realized, however, that we’ve been lacking a bit when it comes to setting the table. Though the kids often help set the places for supper hour at the family table, it has not been much of a focus at other meals. I saw this great idea to help the wee ones learn the proper way to set a table. It’s been a huge hit with both Chi-Chi and Muffy. I was able to apply my new found appliqué skills to this project, resulting in some new sweet placemats for the boys. The teaspoon and salad forks from my everyday cutlery set seem just the right size. I took a silver butter knife from a family set we own to complete the setting. It’s the perfect size and a much safer alternative. In celebration of the upcoming strawberry season, I whipped up a few kiddie sized cloth napkins, as well as some adult ones for Hubby and me.
When not in use, all of the items are stored at child-height in the dining room. When their tummies begin to rumble, Chi-Chi and Muffy can easily access everything they need to set their places at the table. I’m trying to devise a way to incorporate self-serve snacks as well….but one thing at a time. I’m discovering the key to success is to take baby steps and to try not to incorporate too many new responsibilities at once.
Remember my latest and greatest idea – My Montessori Husband? I honestly considered doing up one of these placemats for Hubby. Just kidding Honey! I figure you’ll learn by osmosis anyway (;