Doodle Dinner Mats

I’m hoping a few of you relate to this scenario. It is 5:40 p.m. The hubby is due home in the next half hour and it is time to finish up (or start!) dinner preparations.  And then it begins. 5 minutes ago your children were happy and helpful..they were busy playing and sharing.  And now? I have a 2 year old glued to my leg begging for a snack and drink…and then back a few minutes later to be held. My 7 and 5 year old are wrestling on the ground and it is a mixture of crying/ yelling/ and noises of all kinds.  IT IS CHAOS!  And in all of the craziness, you are trying to get dinner cooked and on the table, so when your husband comes home you can all sit down and eat. Sound familiar?
During one of these episodes a few weeks ago I had an idea:
 I am sure many of you cannot relate to the above situation and just see this all day:

But either way…Chaos or Calm..I hope you enjoy these before dinner activities…and with summer just around the corner these will be perfect to add into your busy days!
These are super simple to make.
Simply download the files, print them out and get them laminated!  Provide your kids with dry erase markers and as a bonus, your dinner conversation will never be dull again!
Let me show you the goods:
#1-The Story of My Day.  This will give your child the opportunity to write or draw his/her activities from the day. When dad asks during dinner what they did during the day..there will be no more “I don’t know” or “nothing” answers!

#2- Place setting- Have you ever asked your children to set the table and they have no idea how? Look no further than this placemat which will aid them in doing it correctly everytime!  There is even a space to write a name!

#3- Tic-Tac-Toe.  Give your kids a way to play together (without killing each other, like mine!).

#4-Today… This placemat will give them a chance to remember their day in a different way than #1..and is sure to bring up some funny answers!
After setting up the table for them today, I went in to get dinner going and came back to this:

and before you knew it, dinner was on the table..and I hadn’t gone crazy!
Give it a try…it may just give them the quiet activity they need before sitting down together!
Go ahead and download all of the files HERE…and have a lovely day.
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Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    I Love these! How/where did you print them?

  2. OneRadMother says:

    These are FAB. Thanks for the free downloads!!!

  3. Rachel says:

    Awesome idea! My little one's not old enough for this yet, but I'll definitely be using this when he's a little bigger :-) Thanks!

    Rachel @ Maybe Matilda

  4. Pam (Haslem) Dana says:

    These are so great! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Whatever Dee-Dee wants says:

    Can I tell you how much I love these place mats?! Thank you for sharing them.

  6. Jennifer says:

    LOVE these!! Thanks for sharing!(=

  7. Leslie says:

    What a fabulous idea! I love them and thanks so much!

  8. s a n s k u :) says:

    fun idea. i find that a bowl full of veggie sticks helps too. kids usually don't last that late without eating supper. some families feed the kids first and then have supper themselves when dad gets home. in that case, these placemats would work too cause the kids can draw on them while you eat. they can tell about their day to you.

  9. Click and Cook says:

    Really cute idea. Love the one for place setting! Thanks for sharing!

  10. Davis and Laura says:

    You're genius and I have a serious blog crush on you!!! :) Thanks for sharing!

  11. P and J Garaway says:

    you are so creative! thank you!!

  12. MrsTerri says:

    What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing these relationship building activities!! And what lovely children you have!

  13. Amy@ Just Pleased as Punch says:

    This is genious! Not only will I use these for my kids, but they are going on my Christmas list to give to my sister for her little ones! Thanks so much!

  14. Rachel says:

    Thanks for these! Just went out to lunch where these placemats would've come in handy. Will def be used @ our house in Canberra Australia. Cheers!

    Pinterest @rtorms

  15. Michelle {Daydream Believers} says:

    Great job! Your placemats are such a great idea! :) Bookmarking your printables for when my kiddos get a little older! :) Thanks for sharing!

  16. sam says:

    downloaded and ready to print! These will be great even for summer when they seem to lose their school skills!

  17. Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted says:

    I don't have kiddos yet but love children's ideas and these mats are so dang clever! Now you'll really be my hero if you can come up with something to entertain needy, little dogs!

  18. Brooke @ The Crafting Chicks says:

    These are so clever and adorable!!! I love all of them, thanks for sharing! I'm a new follower! :)

  19. Rachel at Sun Scholars says:

    This is such a fabulous idea!!! Awesome! I'd LOVE to have you share this at my For the Kids link party! Come join the fun!

    http://sunscholars.blogspot.com/2011/05/for-kids-friday-12.html

  20. Eli says:

    Brilliant!!! Thanks for the free printables!

  21. Karla says:

    SO cute! Mine are still too little for this, but I am going to make them and store them away for when they are! :) thanks for such a fun idea!

  22. Desiree says:

    It looks like the mats you have are laminated. Did you just go to a local store and laminate them?

  23. Laine says:

    I just love this and can't wait to print it out! Wonder if you would do one for just writing? like practicing their names…

  24. Sam says:

    I love these!! Thanks so much for the printables!

  25. Flor says:

    Wow! THIS is what Ive been missing! Now maybe I can finally get to cooking some dinner in peace :)
    Thank you SO much!

  26. Heidi says:

    Fun idea for my grandkids!!!

  27. Kristen @ Busy Kids = Happy Mom says:

    Oh my – so many questions for these! 1. How did you print them?
    2. What type of laminate did you use to protect them.

    I'd love to know!

    thank you!!

  28. Lyndsy says:

    I cannot use the link provide to print these files. Can you please email them to me. I hope to hear from you soon.

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