First, we reviewed how to set the table. We had this work before and the children had explored it till they tired of it, but now seemed to be a wonderful time to review it. This time, we talked about the placement of the plates and glasses and I had them to brainstorm why the placement of the dishes matter. I asked questions such as:
"Why should we wipe the table before setting the dishes on it?"
"Why do we place the plate closest to us and the glass on the other side of the plate- why not put the glass in front of us and the plate farther away?
"What is helpful about our placement of the silverware?"
"Why do we need napkins - why don't we just lick our fingers or wipe them on our clothes?"
The responses were funny at times.... I received everything from "cause you told us to"
to "I put the fork close to my plate so no one else licks it" ... to finally we came to more realistic conclusions as to why we do things this way.
The mindfulness aspect really came into play as we placed each piece down on the table slowly, and with purpose... and taking the time to step back and reflect on our work. Too many times, I have rushed myself, or them to get the plates on the table quickly so we can rush and do the next thing....without stopping to appreciate the work we have done.
If you need the initial place setting lesson, My Montessori Journey has a beautiful post on this topic.
If you have any mindfulness activities that you do with your children at school or in your home, please feel free to link up to this post!