by Kellie Geres, Regarding Nannies Development Team Member
Years ago I attended a workshop on creative play with children. One of the suggestions was to use items around you and play restaurant. I took those suggestions a step further and with my 6 year old twins at the time we created an event and memory that will last a lifetime.
So the idea was to create the Grand Opening of our restaurant 1717 Larchmont. That was the address we were living in at the time. A few weeks before our grand opening, we mailed a hand designed invitation to mom, inviting her to our event. The opening coincided with her birthday. So the big day arrives. My twins, A & J (girl/boy), each had special roles to play. We went shopping for the groceries; prepared all the food we could ahead of time, set the table, and cleaned the house. The time came for mom to arrive home / arrive at the grand opening. I had put her on notice to call when she was close so we could be ready. So mom arrives, the kids are all decked out in their nice clothes and places are set. Knock on the door, A greets mom as the hostess and shows her to her private dining room … a table set on the patio and presents her with her hand designed by the kids menu. J then comes in with white towel draped over his arm and asks her for her drink order … tap or sparkling water. He then makes menu recommendations and takes her order. Our menu consisted of the following:
House salad or Caesar Salad
Ravioli or Tortellini
Ice cream or Chef Special Strawberry Shortcake
Both kids help with the meal prep and take turns bringing the meal to mom, clearing the table. The kids made a dual appearance and informed mom that the chef has invited her to a special dessert preview and to join them for a surprise. The surprise was her presents, shortcake with candles and lots of birthday wishes and hugs.
I loved doing this activity with the kids and mom was so surprised and appreciative of all we had done to make this special. Other things we did to create our restaurant: we handmade a sign to hang on the front door with the name of our restaurant, flowers on the table, favorite music, and the kids prepared all the food – with help from nanny when needed.
My advice … be creative. Involved the kids as much as possible and let them make decisions about what to do, menu, making signs, etc. Take pictures and preserve the memories.