May 19, 2011

Dinnertime Doodle Mats (SSG Idea #16)

Positively Splendid

One of my recent blogging discoveries (and one that quickly made it on to my list of must-reads) is today’s guest, Kiki from Kiki Creates. She is sharing a truly brilliant idea to keep idle little hands busy during the most harried part of the day!
Hi everyone! My name is Kiki over from Kiki Creates where I blog about any and everything I create with my hands and the inspiration it comes from.  I often have free printables to download and have an etsy shop filled with fresh and fun prints for your home!  I have been loving this series so far…hasn’t it been great?  It’s one of my first stops every morning…and feel blessed to be a part of it!
If you frequent my blog, you will know that I have 3 little munchkins.  They keep me on my toes in the best way and are OFTEN the inspiration behind my projects. Today is no different!
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.
Thanks again for having me, Amy!
Seriously – aren’t those great? I can’t wait to make a set for our household! Thank you so much to Kiki for stopping by today to inspire us!



30 Responses to Dinnertime Doodle Mats (SSG Idea #16)

  1. Heather May 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Kiki – this is an awesome idea! I’m always in need of sanity savers for the witching hour. Do you remember about how much it will cost to laminate them all?

  2. Leanne May 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

    Totally love this idea. What a great way to keep the kiddos busy during dinner prep time.

  3. Delle May 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    What a fabulous idea!!! My kiddies (and husband) would love it. And it would make a great Christmas gift too!!!

  4. Brenda Walker May 19, 2011 at 5:33 pm #

    awesome idea! What size did you print them.

  5. Jennifer May 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm #

    I LOVE these!!! I’ll definitely be printing them out!! Thank you for sharing them!

  6. kiki comin May 19, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    Thanks, Amy, for having me! Such a fun series to be a part of.

    Heather- They were $3-$4 to laminate each..for the 11×17 size..but I didn’t shop around, so you may be able to find it cheaper.

    Brenda- they are formatted for an 11×17 size!

  7. Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants May 20, 2011 at 2:14 am #

    What an adorable idea but once again you and I think alike! I am working on a placemat idea right now, mine is really different this time. I am sure your kids love this!

  8. Dina May 20, 2011 at 2:39 am #

    FAN.TAS.TIC!!!! LOVE this idea! Thank you thank you thank you:-)

  9. 3punkmom May 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Susan @ Living with Punks May 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Love this idea…what a great way to keep the kids busy…and a way for them to share with the family 🙂

  11. Becky May 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Oh wow…this is great!

  12. Amanda May 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    This is a super idea! My boys have recently made the jump from high chairs to table, these are perfect for a little encouragement to stay at the table!

    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Sue May 22, 2011 at 3:58 am #

    What an ingenious, fun idea! I just love it! Thanks:)

  14. Faith May 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm #!
    This is awesome!
    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  15. Kristie K. May 24, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    Lakeshore has an awesome price on laminating. I loved this idea Kiki. Thanks for sending me to this cute blog…

  16. Netta May 25, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    I’m printing them now!
    Thank you SO much!

  17. nslcropper June 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    I love this…thanks so much for sharing with us. I was wondering where everyone is printing these since I don’t think my home computer can print 11 x 17 size. Do office stores do this?

  18. Amanda July 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    I don’t think my printer does 11 x 17 either. =/ Any suggestions?

  19. Date Night Reviews August 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    Wow, these are great!! Just found this through Pinterest, thanks so much for the free downloads. My son always tells me, ‘Oh, nothing…’ when I ask what his favorite and least favorite parts of his day were, so hopefully this will encourage him to share more. Can’t wait to use them!

  20. hill September 14, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    these are fabulous. i found that wet erase markers do better on laminated things than dry erase. xoxo.

  21. Maxabella September 16, 2011 at 1:21 am #

    Amy, these are wonderful. Thank you so much. x

  22. House of Prowse October 26, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Great ideas!
    Simple yet effective.
    Found you via twitter!

  23. Leimay November 6, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    what a great idea, i have my grandmother in law working on some new ones for the kids for Christmas but they will be hand sewn and pretty ones… this is such a good idea for us and can double up and go into the camping kits to give them things to do while we are away (best of all if they get broken or lost we can replace them cheaply)

  24. BigDreamsMama March 22, 2012 at 3:46 am #

    I really love this idea! Does anyone know somewhere where I can just upload the file and have it printed & laminated?

  25. Letters to My Little Ones April 23, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    Thanks so much for these!

  26. Little Gumnut September 9, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    What a lovely idea!

  27. Sandra Allen July 23, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    Wonderful!! May I have a couple of these available to our students’ parents on my website. You will get a link back. registered & protected

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