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Make Dinnertime Kid-Friendly
If you're like most moms, you'd love to have a nice dinner where you can relax, enjoy good food and good conversation.  When it comes to our kids, however, their idea of a good dinner would most likely be eating a slice of pizza before diving into a pool of multi-colored, plastic balls, and playing the video games at the local kid’s restaurant.  While we're not going to suggest that you get a large, inflatable, bouncing area moved into your dining room, we do have a few small tips that may help your kids and you enjoy dinnertime at home, together.
  • Play some music that they will enjoy.  It doesn’t have to be blasting from the stereo; you can monitor the volume and we'd suggest listening to it beforehand to make sure it is appropriate.  

  • Let your kids make their own placemats.  You can use scrap paper and let them decorate a piece for their placemat.  Make sure they know that they'll have to toss them after dinner. You can also let them make more permanent ones by having the paper laminated.

  • Make your own happy meals.  Decorate brown paper lunch bags (or even let your kids do it).  Wrap their dinner in wax paper or place in small storage containers. Then place a small toy in the bag along with their dinner.  The toy doesn't have to be expensive or even new.  You can get cheap toys at the dollar store the next time you're out, or dig into the bottom of their toy box and find a toy they have forgotten about.  They will enjoy the surprise of it all, more than the toy.

  • This one is different from the theme of the others, but you might be surprised how much your children enjoy it.  Get out your best dishes, glasses and silverware.  Teach your children how to properly set a table for a formal dinner.  Try going over a few table manners throughout the week before your dinner.  Then have everyone dress up for dinner.  The meal does not have to be fancy if you do not want it to be.  You could serve chicken nuggets and Kool-aid! It doesn’t matter; your children will still remember the experience of it all.
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