Saturday, February 11, 2012

Entertaining With Kids

I think entertaining is fun.  I do get a bit nervous, wanting everything to go smoothly, but overall I really like it.  When I was younger and had my apartment, I would have some friends over with a few appetizers and some beverages.  Then when I got my first house, I started to theme my parties and menus.  Now that I am a mom of two vivacious boys, I keep kids in mind.

When we have friends over with children, I like to have a kid friendly menu and activities.  First the menu.  My boys are the pickiest eaters.  When we have holidays at a relative's house, I come along with their own meals.  It's not uncommon for me to whip out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or two from my purse. So when we have other kids over, I really try and accommodate their needs.  I always check with the parents for allergies or restrictions.  With that information, I plan the menu.

That being said, we are having over two families tonight.  No allergies, but we will have vegetarians.  Tonight's menu is as follows:

turkey chili with cornbread
vegetable noodle soup
home made Italian bread
cheese platter with fruit
peanut butter sandwiches (kids)
cheese sandwiches (kids)
candy bar cake and ice cream

It is a balance that meets everyones preferences and simple enough to prepare ahead of time.  The children are welcome to have anything on the menu, but I did make the sandwiches knowing that's what my boys will eat.  To make the sandwiches festive, I cut them into different shapes.  Here's how they went together.

First start with really thin bread (this makes it easier to cut).  I used a 100% whole wheat bread.

Spread them with peanut butter, jelly, honey, etc.  I also made some into cheese sandwiches.  Then using cookie cutters, cut the crust off.

Arrange on a platter.  I cut each different kind of sandwich with a different shaped cutter.

After dinner, I planned some craft activities.  When a larger group of kids are at a gathering, it's a really good idea to have some organized activities.  Tonight, I have fun foam door hangers and bookmarks, and sand art.

I purchased the foam door hangers and I already have different shape pieces to adhere.  Then from simple fun foam sheets, using decorative scissors, I just cut out bookmarks.

The sand art kit came with everything the kids need to make their own bottles.  The only thing I did was put the sand in squeeze bottles.  You can find them in the candy aisle of the craft store.  They have a tip that fits right into the bottles and will keep the mess to a minimum.

Finally coloring sheets and my marbled crayons are always a fun activity :)

So the next time you entertain with kids, have a few activities and a friendly menu planned.

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