Table Setting for Special Needs

Table Setting for Special Needs

A couple of weeks ago we wrote a post about making Thanksgiving special for your tube fed child – it offered some alternative activities to a holiday that primarily revolves around food. Over the last several days I contemplated how to involve other special needs children and individuals in the Thanksgiving prep work.

Then, a light bulb! One of the first chores many children are given is to set the table for meals. What a great time to introduce children who are developmentally older than the age of five to this new chore! Whether your Thanksgiving dinner is formal or casual, instructions for table settings can be easy to follow.

I tell you what, we will even make it easy for you click here and you will find the Google results for table setting templates.

Use your judgement here, Dylan probably shouldn’t have her hands on grandma’s fine china any time soon, or her very typical brothers for that matter. Maybe we can start with the kid’s table?

Okay, That brings me to some tips…
1. Use unbreakable plates for starters. (Yup, kids table…)
2. Skip the knives or have a parent or older sibling add them later.
3. Put everything the child will need out on the counter ahead of time (older children can get some of the heavier, and sharp, items themselves.)

I love the templates found on the internet, consider printing and laminating your families to make them last. An easy way to have a child remember a place setting goes without having a template is to tell a story. The sharp pointy fork stands alone on the left while the knife protects the spoon from the fork.

Table setting is a chore that will come in handy ongoing. Any time you can teach a life-skill, jump on it! Make sure to recognize a job well done and watch your child beam with pride at being able to do this “big kid” job!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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