Wednesday, August 14, 2013

BACK TO SCHOOL TABLESCAPE

The Back-to-School dinner table is ready for the grands.  I shared my  back-to-school mantel in my previous post.  Each year, I host my school-aged grandchildren for a back-to-school dinner. 

Our coffee table in the family room is a “high/low” table.  It raises from coffee table height to dining height and anything in between.  Our grandchildren usually eat at this table.  I’ve had to keep adjusting the height a little higher as they have gotten older.  Coffee table height makes it so much easier to photograph the table, but  I’ll have to raise it before the grandchildren get here.

Back to School-Bargain Hunting with Laurie

Do you remember when I tore a painter’s drop cloth into rectangles to use for placemats in my “burlap-ing the table” post?  Those “placemats” have now become napkins. 

Bargain Hunting Laurie-Back to School Table

In addition to each child’s initials, I stamped some “life lessons” on their napkins.

Bargain Hunting Laurie-Back to School Table

I try to sneak in lessons whenever I can!

Bargain Hunting Laurie-Back to School

A plastic, cafeteria style dish will hold their food.

Bargain Hunting Laurie-back to school tablescape

The placemats (which also serve as place cards)  are small, vintage chalkboards, and a piece of chalk at each place setting gives them permission to write on their placemat.  Every year, they end up playing tic-tac-toe on them.

Bargain Hunting with Laurie-Back to School

Another reason this table is great for serving my grandchildren is that it has a glass top.  Spills are easily cleaned up, AND I can use “glass markers” to write an age-appropriate math problem by each child’s place.

Bargain Hunting Laurie-Back to School

Glass markers in the center of the table will be used for them to write the answer to the math problem, and this is one time when they will be given permission to write on the dinner table.  Tic-tac toe will probably be all over the glass top too.  (Grandmothers can let their grands get away with a lot when the parents aren’t around to see them!)

Bargain Hunting w Laurie-Back to School

Each of our grands will take home a handful of pencils and pens, wrapped in slap bands that reverse to a ruler.Bargain Hunting with Laurie

The school fairy sits on books in the center of the table.  When my grands were younger, I told them that she sprinkles fairy dust all over the table, so that if they eat their meal, they’ll have a good school year.  Now, they all start talking about it when they spot the fairy, and although they are laughing, I get the feeling they hope that the fairy dust is real!

Bargain Hunting w Laurie-Back to School

Back to Schooll Dinner-Bargain Hunting with Laurie

I’m a little sad to see my grandchildren start back to school.  (Hmmm, I don’t recall ever feeling that way when my children were young!)  This Summer has felt soooo short to me. 

Thank you for reading my blog today.  laurie

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I’m linking to Let’s Dish Wednesday at Cuisine Kathleen, Centerpiece Wednesday at The Style Sisters, and Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps on the Porch.

23 comments:

Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR said...

Laurie, this table is just adorable! I bet the grands look forward to this every year. The lunch trays really bring back memories! This is just as cute as your mantel!

Tea in Texas said...

You have a great idea to create this for the grand children. Thee chargers of vintage chalk boards are terrific. i like your napkins with the sayings. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

Phyllis @Around the House said...

What a fun little post, loved the colorful school trays, I adore your creativity and the fun tablescapes that incorporate a lot of your fun collections, loved the postlllPhyllis

Debbie said...

I love this!! Really, it has the "stand and cheer" effect on me. Maybe it's because I was a teacher, or maybe it's because I am and will always be a mother, but I LOVE it. My favorite part is the napkins with the life lessons on them. I also love the fact that you can write on the glass top. Bravo, Laurie!

ellen b. said...

You are so much fun. I want to be your granddaughter! :)

Ceekay-THINKIN of HOME said...

Can you just adopt me? That looks like so much fun...

Marlis said...

I want to be a child and then to be your grandchild!!! This is just perfect. I love the math problems and the chalkboards. What a fun table for the little ones. You win the grandma award!! xo marlis

Sarah said...

Adorable! You've heard this from me dozens of times, but I say it again, " Your grands must have the best time when they come to your home." You are always celebrating them! ;-)

tablescapesbybev said...

Such a sweet and special table for your grandchildren! Your details, especially the chalkboards are wonderful....

Mimi said...

Laurie-

You should hire out as a party consultant to elementary schools for classroom ideas! It is terrific fun to view your creativity and as the grandchildren get older imagine the changes you will make!

xo
Mimi

Peggy Thal said...

So cute for your grandchildren. You are a sweet grandma!

xinex said...

You are really such a fun grandma, Laurie. I know I have said that so many times before. The table is so cute and so practical and so much fun. Cute ideas!...Christine

Diann said...

What a fun back to school table Laurie! I know I would love to sit there and eat and draw!

Denise said...

My grands start back next week. I'm stealing some of your ideas.

Denise said...

Just wanted to add that I don't have the chalkboard placemats, but I do have a can of chalkboard paint that seems like a bottomless pit. I'm going to make cardboard ones. Thanks so much for this idea.

Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads said...

Laurie,
This is just adorable and I nominate you for Grandmother of the Year. I'm sure your grands must think so, too!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Just so cute Laurie! I think this is such a fun thing to do with your Grands! I be they enjoy it every year!
hugs,
Linda

Palomasea said...

Dearest Laurie! I just read through both "school" posts, and am so relieved and happy that Cooper is home! That is wonderful...
And how lucky and blessed are your grands...to have such a loving, creative, fun grand-mommy....
Love this! I never thought of having a back to school special meal, but this may be the start of a fun new tradition!! Thank you for ALWAYS inspiring...
And thank you for visiting me!! Heee....there's no such thing as too much chocolate for me either... :)))
Have fun!!
Love and blessings,
- Irina

Palomasea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diane said...

Laurie - I can see that we are cut from the same grandmother mold! My grandchildren eat on a table with a glass top and we have finger painted and drawn on it many times! Your table is so adorable and I love the way you managed to incorporate life-lessons in the tablescape. What fun! I have a feeling these precious children will miss you, too, when school begins!

Connie Ash said...

Awesome table - Like you I can't believe summer is over. The weather has been so different, even today I have windows open and the air has a hint of fall.
Thanks for sharing your talents -

Kathleen said...

You are the bestest nana! I love how you always do something for the gkids. I am with yu, I don't get to see my gkids very often once school starts.
Such a cute table, and I love those life lessons sayings! So true...

Entertaining Women said...

Beatrice Emaline will celebrate her 1st birthday, but I know that it will feel like no time until she's off to school, too. I'm going to save this darling bit of inspiration to create a table when the time is right for Honey Bea. Thank you for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay