Your children may enjoy being asked to make this very special contribution to the family meal. Don't wait for special holidays to set the table in a sacred manner. Any meal can be lifted to a feeling of loving care with a vase of flowers, perhaps "the good" dishes, a table cloth, whatever feels right in creating a sense of grace.
Some of us have been collecting treasures for years (sea shells, river stones, drift wood, buttons, fabric scraps etc.) these treasures and your child's creative eye will together become a beautiful centerpiece for your dinner table. While you are finishing fixing dinner ask your child if they would like to create something beautiful for the middle of the table. Make sure you express how important this task is and how all eyes will see what they make for the table.
Provide your child with a tray or box with supplies to choose from (whatever treasures you have on hand will be fine) limit them to three items (or else you'll have trouble seeing one another at dinner time!) and let them know that if they enjoy doing this, that the other items can be used next time. Provide a place mat or piece of felt (to help define the centerpiece space) and encourage them to be creative!
Remember: a newly picked dandelion in a jelly jar of water can be a simple center piece that brings us great joy.
There is something very special about being asked to make a contribution. Your child may take on this task with loving care and enjoy this new responsibility. If they don't, make something yourself, remembering to take a moment before your meal to enjoy it's beauty.
Here are some of my favorite Center-PEACE displays that have graced our family's dinner table (and made me smile) over the years:
- a sea shell, a blade of grass, a driveway stone (they look like crystals you know)
- a juice glass with water, a sprig of rosemary, and a shiny penny
- a Harry Potter Lego piece, and two stones that looked like mountains
- my grandmother's bone china sugar bowl filled with grapes,
- a post card of a photo Martin Luther King Jr., a glass heart and a tissue paper flower
(and should you do this activity and want to share, please comment and let me know what your children came up with!)