Setting the Table

Setting the Table

Carter is 3 years, 3 months old.

You will need:

Small plate (to fit on the paper)
Large sheet of thick paper
Black marker
Table Knife
Dessert Spoon


1.                Put the sheet of paper on the tray along with the cutlery and the plate. Ask your child to take the tray to the table. Remove the paper, put it in front of the tray.

The Materials for Setting the Table

2.                Say, “I am going to match up the plate to the one on the paper.” Trace around the plate with your finger, then trace around the outline to show that they match.

3.                Say, “Can you match up the cutlery with the outlines on the paper?” Encourage him to match up the items.

Matching the Pieces

Matching the Pieces

(You can add extra items like a glass or napkin, but only show where they would go. The next step is to take it off the paper and have him do it by memory, using the paper with traced objects to check.)

Extension of Activity

Conclusion: Matching the items was very easy for Carter, but once I took the paper away, he didn’t understand.  He wanted the paper back to continue to play the matching game.  He brought the paper back to the table.

I’m sure the reason he didn’t get it is because in our everyday mealtime at home, we do not formally set the table.  We simply put out a plate and a fork or spoon.  So, to help him understand I brought out 4 of each item and told him a story about 4 friends coming over for dinner.  He set the places for them at the table, but then wondered when his friends would be there to eat.  (I have to smile at how literal a 3 year-old is)  To make it worth our while, Carter went into his room and brought some of his stuffed friends to the table.  He took their orders and “served” them food.

Table for 4

The Friends Come to Eat

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4 thoughts on “Setting the Table

  1. Andrew says:

    This is cool and really well done! I work for a company that has digital cards that let you take pictures and make step by step guides, very similar to what you’ve done. We have an app called MagnusCards and I think it might be right up your alley.

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