July 24, 2015
I feel like things have been so busy around here lately. I’ve been working like a mad woman trying to get some cool things ready to launch around here (ack!), on top of the usual summer madness of traveling, visitors, the pool (OMG, woe is me, right?). Our days have been jam-packed and the kids have been great about it but I’ve been missing out on our fun and the connection we have when we do something together just the three of us.
So I decided to put together a quick, easy party to make them laugh and remind them that their mom is the funniest person in the whole world (they’re 2 and 4 so it’s a pretty easy sell at this point). Alice loves getting dressed up, Bennett loves to eat, and I love to role play so I decided to turn our lunch into a dining experience. I figured we were eating anyway, so it took virtually no set up, but they thought it was AMAZING. (The cupcakes their aunt brought over didn’t hurt either…).
I’ve put together several tips for playing restaurant with your kids, but, really, all you need to do is pretend to take their order and put lunch on a fancier plate. But, if you want more ideas, keep reading!
Tip 1: Everything tastes better when you’re dressed up. We’d recommend guests don their most elegant finery. Or a construction worker uniform. We are flexible.
Tip 2: When your guests arrive it is important to welcome them and get them settled properly. This could include: retrieving their purse, helping them into their chair, or politely asking them not to place the centerpiece in their sister’s ear.
Tip 3: Time is of the essence when opening your restaurant so we recommend grabbing the nearest items and “making them work.” In this case, we paired a bubble blower with some leftover, birthday pinwheels for a makeshift centerpiece. I think you’ll agree it is magical.
Tip 4: When taking guests’ orders, it may be more efficient to channel a persona. “Flo” from the diner is an excellent choice, as is “Garson” from the French restaurant or, in this case, “Victoria” who runs the princess’ kitchen (I’ll let you determine who came up with that idea).
Tip 5: Guests will appreciate the use of your finest-ish tableware. Not eating on plastic is quite the novelty!
Tip 6: Never leave a guest wanting more. You might be surprised at the gusto with which they enjoy your food and drink when it’s not in a plastic Cars cup so be sure to have plenty on hand.
Tip 7: Your guests came for the drama so give it to them. In this case, we simply placed lunch under a domed lid, but all the guests commented on how much better the sandwiches tasted and ate more than they’d ever eaten at lunch. Seriously. I have never seen PB&Js go down so quickly.
Tip 8: It probably had to do with the dramatic reveal. Definitely had to do with the reveal. Do a big reveal.
Tip 8: Do not make this harder than it needs to be. You’ll find your guests are quite happy with PB&J, fruit, and cheese bits (cut up cheese sticks) if they come in little bowls.
Tip 9: While you do not want to hover over your guests, it is also appropriate (and more fun) to check on them approximately every 30 seconds to make sure they have enough to eat, their napkin has not fallen to the floor, and they have not knocked over their milk. Please, be sure to refer to them as “Madam” and “Sir” and bow lots. Even while cleaning up their milk.
Tip 10: Give them cupcakes.
Tip 12: After ringing them up (we fortunately had a cash register on hand), be sure to give your guests the proper amount of gratitude for stopping by your restaurant. 14 kisses, three hugs, and snuggle will do in this case.
Photos by Erica Bean Photography