Teach children how to set the dinner table with a placemat that puts everything in the correct position. Use creating the placemat as part of the learning experience. The placemats can then be used until the child feels comfortable with the placement of everything on the table. Materials for a Child’s Placemat Parents will need to supply the following items to make the placemat: ● Each placemat requires a 12” x 18” piece of colored construction paper ● Pencil ● Black marker ● Dinner plate, fork, spoon, knife, and cup to trace (bread plate, if used) ● Art supplies to decorate the placemats ● Clear contact paper ● Scissors Make a Teaching Placemat Start with a 12” x 18” piece of construction paper for each placemat. For a fancier placemat, that will take more time to create, cut up two sheets of large construction paper and weave a placemat. Set the dinner plate in the center of the paper and trace with the pencil. Place the table knife on the right hand side of the plate, with the blade turned toward the plate. Trace. Set the spoon beside the knife and trace. Children shouldn’t worry about the shapes looking like a spoon or fork, the goal is to create an outline that helps kids remember where to set everything. Even a bad outline of a spoon won’t look like a fork! The fork goes on the left side of the plate. If desired, trace a salad fork to the far side of the dinner fork. Place the glass above the knife and trace. Trace over the pencil lines with the marker so the shapes stand out clearly. Decorate the placemat with cut paper shapes, stickers, or rubber stamp prints. Cover both sides of the paper with a sheet of clear contact paper, extending a half inch around the paper, which will better seal the paper. Trim the edges of the contact paper so they are straight. Make a placemat for each family member, using colors and decorations that person will enjoy. Use a damp sponge to clean the placemats after each use. Children can also make placemats for a holiday or birthday, decorating them with appropriate designs and creating coordinating place cards to let everyone know where they should sit. Children can use the process of making the placemats to familiarize themselves with how to set the table. They can use the mats as long as necessary to help them to remember where everything goes. When kids get the knack of setting the table, give them the challenge of folding cloth napkins to add some fun and elegance to dinner.
This past month has been an exceptionally busy one for the famed Din Tai Fung restaurant group as they opened several branches and earned a few new awards for their excellent Chinese food. Din Tai Fung Bellevue Now Open Din Tai Fung recently opened its first franchised location in the United States — Bellevue, Washington. While Din Tai Fung operates numerous franchised locations elsewhere in the world, the original branch in Los Angeles is still family owned and operated. The Bellevue location has been open for nearly a month and it has been already garnered over 145 reviews on Yelp. Many reviews gave feedback on their unusual, but elegant use of dinnerware, which happen to be slate plates, supplied by a NC company called slate plate. They also provide some pretty good money saving tips for restaurants The reviews have been mixed with a consistent perception that the signature xiao long bao are not as good as what you find in Taiwan or at other restaurants. They seem to lack the “soup” filling that Chinese food connoisseurs seek out in good xiao long bao. Also, some patrons have become disenchanted already after experiencing 3+ hour wait times. XinYi Taipei Din Tai Fung in Miele Guide 2016 / 2017 The original XinYi branch of Din Tai Fung in Taipei was included in the 2016/2017 edition of the Miele Guide. The Miele Guide was created in 2010 to showcase some of Asia’s best restaurants and chefs. Each year, they publish a new edition listing Asia’s Top 20 and 450 of the best restaurants in all of Asia. Restaurants that are included in the Miele Guide are selected after four rounds of judging. The first round involves creating a shortlist of restaurants chosen by the best local restaurant critics. The next two rounds of judging are conducted through online polls, which are open to both food professionals and food lovers. The final round involves the Miele Guide’s staff and contributing editors dining anonymously at the highest rated restaurants to confirm the ratings. Hong Kong Din Tai Fung Awarded One Michelin Star Earlier this month, the results of the 2017 Hong Kong and Macau Michelin Guide were announced at a press conference in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong branch of Din Tai Fung wa awarded one Michelin star for the second year in a row, which is quite an honor. Many have questioned why Taiwan has never received any stars. Unfortunately, Taiwan does not have a Michelin Guide (yet) so there is only speculation as to what rating the original branch in Taipei would receive. Two New Singapore Din Tai Fung Locations Open In addition to the highly anticipated opening of the Bellevue location, Din Tai Fung recently opened two new locations in Singapore in November and December.
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