Kids 5 and up can learn this basic chore—giving you one less thing to worry about at dinnertime.


For every busy parent, dinnertime is (at least somewhat) stressful. You want to serve a healthy meal and spend time together— but at the end of a long day, even zapping leftovers can be a challenge. Make it easier by teaching your child how to set the table.

Learning to Set the Table

Kids 5 and up are ready to learn this basic chore, so get your child on board by talking up how important her job is. For younger kids, skip the sharp knives, use dishes that aren't breakable, and set all the supplies out on the counter. Older kids can grab dishes and silverware themselves.

When you sit down to eat, make sure you praise your little one for a job well done. She'll feel so proud to finish her big-kid task—and you'll enjoy a dinner that's a little bit less rushed.

Little girl picking up dinner plates
Credit: Ted & Debbie

Table Setting Cheat Sheet

To help your child remember where everything goes, use our printable table-setting place mats. Consider laminating them to make them last.

The tried-and-true way to remember the silverware order: The fork stands alone on the left side of the plate, and the knife protects the spoon from the fork on the right side.

Parents Magazine