Friday 8 April 2011


Montessori Activity: Table-Setting/Borddækning/摆餐具 [bǎi cān jù]

Place the place mat on the table
J setting the table for training teddy bear
Age: From 2 years old

Activity Duration: 5-15 minutes

Preparation Time: 5 minutes


1. To inculcate table setting habit during meal time
2. To teach serving others


1. 2 homemade disposable table place mat (see below how to make this)
2. 2 plates
3. 2 forks
4. 2 knifes
5. 2 cups
6. 1 training teddy bear


1. Serve your child by showing him how to set the table. You may want to do it the true Montessori way by tracing out the objects first, and then tracing out the outlines on the place mat.

2. Encourage your child to do it for his "guest".

How to Make Disposable Table Place Mat?

1. On a A4 paper, use a pencil to trace out the shape of the plate, cup, fork and knife. (If you are making a place Mat for adult sized cutleries, use A3 paper instead).

2. Use a marker to go over the out-lines made by the pencil.

3. Make photocopies of the place mat for use and dispose it after each use during meal time.

A packet of A4 and A3 size paper: 39 DKK (9.50 SGD) Måla from IKEA

Additional Information:

I couldn't bear to use real place mat (even if it is cheap) for this activity, and this has hindered me from introducing this activity to the detriment of J. Today, I thought why don't I just use a piece of paper instead. Basically all I need is a piece of paper with outlines of the plate, cup and cutlery drawn on it and I am ready to go. I intend to make photocopies of them, so that I don't run out of stock and have to draw them again.

I didn't go the strict Montessori way by using real plates and cutleries and by tracing the objects and outlines on the place mat, but adapted to suit our needs, since J did not have the patience for tracing the objects yet. For a good idea of what tracing the objects is all about for this activity, here is a good post by But because the outlines of the objects are on the place mat, J knows where to put them. I will encourage him to trace the objects when I re-introduce this activity again next time.

We had a pretend play today with training teddy bear as J's guest. J (2Y1M3D) learned to set the table for training teddy bear and serving it.


Homemade adult-size disposable place mat for kids to practice
Måla paper from IKEA

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