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To try to get twelve 3-4 year olds to sit at a table at a party?

(34 Posts)
ilikeyoursleeves Sun 23-Oct-11 12:10:38

It's ds1's 4th birthday party soon & I'm not sure what to do about eating. The party is in our house & I'm planning on trying to sit all the kids at our table for a retro kid food fest. But I think they might end up just running about with food anyway. Do you think it's worth a try anyway or should I just put the food on the table, like a buffet, & they can sit on the floor or something?

BeatRoute Sun 23-Oct-11 12:14:00

Lay it out picnic-style on the floor. Do you even have 12 chairs for them to sit on?!

TheVermiciousKnid Sun 23-Oct-11 12:14:35

Glue on the chairs?

Otherwise, I think I would just put the food on the table and let them get on with it. But then I'm from the lazy 'just-let-them-get-on-with-it' school of parenting.

BluddyMoFo Sun 23-Oct-11 12:16:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

colken Sun 23-Oct-11 12:17:05

Tell them that food will be taken away from them if they are not sitting at the table. If they ignore you and still leave the table with food, just keep taking it away. As in Super Nanny, they'll soon learn that, if they want a bowl of jelly, they will have to be sitting at the table.

My personal idea would be to have the food in the garden so the birds can do the clearing up. And don't let them indoors with it. I hope you're not in the north!

wicketkeeper Sun 23-Oct-11 12:20:08

They'd be expected to sit down to eat at Nursery and (hopefully) at home, so if you can find 12 chairs I would say do it. Set the expectations from the start - 'We're going to play this game and then we'll all sit down for tea'. And if one of them 'can't' sit at the table, use bribery to get them back - they have to sit back down to get cake, or whatever.

I hope you'll be having jelly and ice cream.

HoneyPablo Sun 23-Oct-11 12:24:03

[grin[
I do this 3 times a day every day, with 2 year olds at work.
Are you planning on having the food after the fun and games? (They will be more willing to sit if they are tired)
Make the table look inviting with lots of decorations and plenty of food. You won't have any trouble getting them to sit if they think they are getting treats.
If they do get up, just gently remind them that they will miss the cake (bribery always works)
I am sure it will be fine- just have a bottle of wine on stand by for after thay have all gone home grin

ilikeyoursleeves Sun 23-Oct-11 12:28:17

We have an extending table & there is a big bench on one side that sits 4 or 5 & we have enough chairs around the house to sit them all down. My kids sit down for each meal so I would hope the other kids would. Quite a few are nursery pals & they always sit down there so heres hoping!

valiumredhead Sun 23-Oct-11 13:05:52

I would much rather they were sitting down at the table, wandering around with food = choking hazard in imo.

BornToFolk Sun 23-Oct-11 13:11:39

DS had a 4th birthday party recently and the kids all sat nicely on a mat on the floor to eat their sandwiches and crisps, then all legged it off to play before the jelly and ice cream! shock
Sitting on the floor was the only option for us. Even though there weren't many kids, all the parents were there too and space was limited.
My advice would be to do about half the food you think you'll need, they ate hardly anything, even DS who usually eats loads. Parties are too much fun to stop to eat!

BluddyMoFo Sun 23-Oct-11 13:45:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

valiumredhead Sun 23-Oct-11 13:47:45

No DOUBLE the amount of food because party food is SO good as Mofo says wink

BornToFolk Sun 23-Oct-11 13:50:27

grin Yeah, the parents did hoover a lot of it up! Especially the cheese n pineapple...

MumblingAndBloodyRagDoll Sun 23-Oct-11 14:26:58

I have never had a problem...they likE it so usually sit nicely. Will you be one of those parents who makes them eat the sandwiches before the biscuits and cakes though?

microfight Sun 23-Oct-11 15:45:47

Of course they will be able to sit down, my DS has been to several 3rd birthday parties over the last year and every time all 20 or so kids sat nicely for food and cake for around 30 mins or so. The age range would have been 2-4 at each party, it would be hellish not to.

AllGoodNamesGone Sun 23-Oct-11 15:52:34

Be careful if you put out plates of food for them to share as you will get some who grab handfuls and leave others without much, especially the little buns and sweet things! After this happened to me once (one little lad piled a mountain onto his plate before anyone could stop him and then hardly ate any - argh!) I started serving the food out onto individual plates or boxes. They usually sat long enough to eat at the tables, but some will finish sooner and won't want to sit and wait for the slower ones so have something they can do as soon as they get down.

ilikeyoursleeves Sun 23-Oct-11 16:11:56

Ah cheese pineapple & pickled onion sticks, theres an idea! Yum. I'm going to make loads as there will be plenty adults to hoover it up plus I love leftovers grin

I was going to put all the savory stuff on the table first, then put out the sweety stuff & cake after. Heres my list what do you think:

Sandwiches, mini sausages, cold pasta, mini pizza, grapes, raisins, quiche, chicken bites, breadsticks, oatcakes, monkey nuts. Then crispy cakes, marshmallows dipped in choc, kid style biscuits & cookies, birthday cake.

what have I missed or what else is good?

CardyMow Sun 23-Oct-11 16:57:26

I usually do some cucumber and carrot sticks with some houmus, and some cherry tomatoes too - and never have any of either left. I think that is partly because the school is fairly MC though - if I had done that at DD's parties when she was little and went to a different school, at least half of the dc wouldn't have had a clue what houmus, or cucumbers, or cherry tomatoes were...

Doitnicelyplease Sun 23-Oct-11 16:58:06

We did this for my dd's 3rd birthday she had 8 friends and they all sat really nicely and ate their food, their parents were quite impressed!

BornToFolk Sun 23-Oct-11 17:05:04

I did big plate of carrots, cucumber, celery and cherry tomatoes, mainly for parents to dip into houmus etc but the kids ate loads too.

Sausages, cold pizza and crisps were the most popular foods.

ilikeyoursleeves Sun 23-Oct-11 17:12:58

Thanks for the ideas, some tomatoes & cucumber will push the 5 a day up! Hummus is good plus maybe olives, ds2 loves them, calls them ' balls' lol

Greenshadow Sun 23-Oct-11 18:04:12

YANBU to expect them to sit down.
We've always had parties at home when the DC were young and never had a problem

I wouldn't bother to go over the top with food though - they won't be impressed. Personally would do just a few sandwiches, sausages, mini pizza, chicken bites, crisps or similar. Forget quiche and cold pasta. Mini tomatoes, carrot sticks, cucumber, grapes. Cakes/biscuits or maybe jelly and ice cream.

holyShmoley Sun 23-Oct-11 18:34:51

we had 16 today between almost 2 and almost 5. All were good as gold, with individual Portions. They were knackered out before the food was served which has a huge impact on table manners.

HoneyPablo Sun 23-Oct-11 19:04:13

I would do individual plates or little boxes. It will be easier than expecting them to be able to share.
Your list sounds great. I would plate up everything individually and just let them pick what they want to eat-it's a party, so it doesn't matter if they only eat the cakes grin

BluddyMoFo Sun 23-Oct-11 19:20:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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