10 Amazing Tools to Inspire Fantastic Table Manners!

Calling all parents with kiddos that care about good table manners!

We spend so much time focusing on teaching our kids how to talk, to read, to write, to count and more. But do we know enough and spend quality time teaching our kids basic table manners? It all starts with moving them away from using fingers to introducing utensils. As a mom of three kids, I’ve seen it all and I’ve learned that the earlier you start working on the basics, the easier it will be!

The first step is to expose them to flatware.  Start with a spoon and fork. Then you move on to the knife and how to use them together.  Using utensils can be compared to riding a bike. If your balance is off, it won’t work very well. Food is less likely to launch off the table or spill onto clothes if your kids know how to use utensils correctly. Don’t worry it takes practice and patience. And at a young age, they won’t win awards for great table manners but they will begin to develop essential table manner skills.

Buy the right tools to make your job a little easier! Here’s a list of my favorite to get you started:

  1. Dinner Winner Kid’s Plate – Who doesn’t love a game? Encourage your kids to eat and keep the food on the plate! Not only is it set up as a game, but now they have lots of different themes. This is a brilliant way to get your kids to eat a variety of food and keep food on the plate. A win-win for all!
  2. Stay Put Mat & Plate – Yes, let’s help the food stay on the table! A little ‘cheat cheat’ to encourage good manners.
  3. Melissa & Doug Set the Table Color-a-Mat – Make your kids the wiz of the table setting task. Enjoy coloring and at the same time learn where to place the fork and knife!
  1. OXO Tot and Big Kid Flatware – Children’s hands are smaller and need an age appropriate flatware to help make eating a bit easier. OXO has made age appropriate flatware –just the right size for your kids to build confidence!
  1. OXO Tot Cup – Move from the sippy to this just right size cup! No slurping, please!
  1. Construction Plate & Utensils – Themed inspired cutlery to entertain! Start the table manner process with this fun set. Everything to get you started!
  1. Mind Your Manners Cloth Napkins –Reminders to mind their p’s and q’s at the table. A set of 8 napkins says it all. Or if you prefer, make and customize the message yourself. Click here to read how to easily create your own.
  1. Lil’ Champs Play it SMART Coloring Book – Take every occasion to encourage good manners! This award-winning activity book has you covered when it comes to teaching basic social skills and manners. Fun features and big benefits! The book lots of fun family games to reinforce good table manners and more.
  1. The SMART Playbook Guide to Using Utensils – What’s your table manner game plan? Here is a simple parent guide to teach kids how to grip cutlery and learn how to cut food. You and your kids will rock the ‘American’ eating style in no time. Simple and effortless! How to Use Utensils?to download your FREE guide.
  1. Table Talk, Kids – Get kids talking with fun engaging questions. Teach your kids how to engage in conversation at the table. The table is not for games but a wonderful place to get to know each other and have open discussions! For ideas on how to make your own cards. Click Here.

Your kids won’t become masters overnight but continue to encourage using flatware and good table manners. Eventually, it will become second nature to all your little ones. Won’t it feel great to have the most well-behaved kids going out to eat!

Do you have any great tools or suggestions to conquer using flatware? Please share.


Suzanne Wind About Suzanne Wind

Suzanne Wind is a wife, mom of three and author of the award-winning series, The SMART Playbook and Lil' Champs Play it SMART. Her passion is to empower parents to teach the next generation social skills that fit a modern world and are the key to their future successes. She writes about ideas and activities designed to help children gain confidence and character.
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