Gardening and Chores: Yard Prep for a Dinner Party!

Gardening seems to be more fun in the spring, I think because it’s fresher and more exciting and the weather is cooler. Now that summer is here we have to deal with the weeds, the heat, and it just seems like more work.

If we know we’re entertaining that night, or maybe the next day, in my home we try to get the whole family involved.

– Make a list the day before of the chores you want your kids to do
– Give them a time frame for when the chores need to be completed
– Be willing to show them how the job is to be done, especially if it’s a new job they’ve never done before
– Keep in mind that the job may not be done perfectly, and be willing to live with it
– Make it fun for the family, talk about the rewards of working together as a family
– After the dinner party is over, or the next day, reflect on what happened during the party and the benefits of everyone pitching in

One example is to make a simple centerpiece for the table.

Let the kids fill a low-line vase with water.

Snip whatever flowers you have blooming in the yard (for us we used fresh mint and pansies).

Adding fresh flowers from the yard is an excellent way to increase the visual appeal of the table!

It’s a gift that we give our kids when we teach them about hospitality and the details of how it all works. I’d say it takes passion and purpose to get everyone involved.

We’re entertaining as a family this weekend, and it will take effort from everyone to complete the chores and the yard work. (OH, what fun, but OH so worth it!)

Do you include the whole family when getting ready for a dinner party? I’d love to hear if your kids have outside chores?

Don’t forget that The Reluctant Entertainer is now available through Amazon, and soon in your local book stores! The winners to the UPrinting canvases are: Melanie Dorsey and Foodie with Family! Congrats to the winners! Stay tuned for more RE books being given away, and the opportunity to buy a signed copy right here at RE!

19 comments on “Gardening and Chores: Yard Prep for a Dinner Party!”

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  4. Love the centerpiece, what a great idea!! I will be using this one for sure!!

    As for chores, yes ours have outside and inside chores. We live on a small ranch so all 3 kids have daily chores and once a week chores. Outside daily ones are feeding, cleaning and watering the horses every night. They must feed and water the dogs. As for inside ones they have certain rooms in the house they must clean each day and every Saturday morning they must pick up the bedroom and clean it top to bottom. I think if they make the mess in the room the outta be in charge of picking it up. Have pride in the place you reside!!

    I believe I am giving my kids a certain understanding of what it takes to run a household and that if you are going to be an animal owner you must be willing to take care of them. I must say for being 7, 9, and 11 they are well rounded and very responsible kids.

  5. Absolutely. They have their regular chores, but there are extras that they help with for special dinner parties. They always help put leftovers away etc. so that we can spend time with our company. We have been teaching them to practice hospitality since they were young and we are so thankful for their contribution to OUR family and friends.

  6. I love your centerpiece! So simple, but so very beautiful. My kids are young adults now, but I still enlist their help when we are entertaining. I honestly could never get things done without their help.

  7. So happy to have one the canvas! Thank you.

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  9. I LOVE this!!! The centerpiece is so pretty!

  10. What a gorgeous centerpiece…and one even my little ones can put together.
    Great ideas, Sandy!

  11. Love the centerpiece.

    And I should make the kids do more yard work. Only I like it. So am I being selfish? Or delusional that that is selfish?

  12. I love the centerpiece idea…I bet that fresh mint smelled just wonderful in it! what a great post Sandy…I always struggle with getting the house ready part, I take a lot of it on myself. I have to start thinking about how to get the kids more involved, they are young but they can still “work” :) Thank you for a great post.

  13. We do include the whole family in prep. We don’t really entertain outside yet unless it’s a bonfire because we don’t have a spot for entertaining yet. But indoors we do include our girls in making sure things are ready.

  14. I super love the centerpiece idea (and the fact it’s kid friendly). I’m sad to say I retreat in this heat and have let my poor potted flowers suffer. I am now longing for a new planting season of mums and fall pansies. :)

  15. I love the simple centerpiece idea. It doesn’t take up space that interfere’s with visual contact with your guests. Living on a small hobby farm, our children do have outdoor chores or we couldn’t get everything done for get-togethers. We have a lot of rose bushes and I have one daughter who is fabulous at keeping them looking good. Our son helps with farm pick-up and since we live on the corner of a main road he is awesome at keeping the stray trash picked up off of our property. My oldest is a planner and “get-it-in-order” type of girl which is fabulous when I am cooking and cleaning. She likes to go behind and see that everything is neat and orderly.

    It definitely takes a family to pull off a successful family event!

  16. Just waht I need to see today since we are hosting a dinner party tomorow night! I am so excited, usually our parties involve many children but tomorrow night it’s just adults and adult conversation and all of us can hardly wait! We will begin inside but later as the weather cools I hope to move outdoors. Love your blog!


  17. yuck! yardwork! that’s the one part I hate about entertaining (that and clean up lol)… love the simple centerpiece!

    Kim @
    party inspiration

  18. I love the simplicity of a table arrangement. I use what I have outside a lot.
    And when we do yard work all the kids usually chip in. No always voluntarily though! LOL! But when you have 50 palm trees to trim it can be VERY overwhelming dragging them to the end of your driveway!
    Have a fabulous weekend Sandy!

  19. The vase idea is so lovely and so simple – I can always rely on you to inspire me Sandy!

    We’re having 20 people over for a BBQ for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday this weekend. We’ve got a new house with a nre garden and I’ve done bit here and there but I need to bring it all together tomorrow am with balloons, a gazebo and constructing me new garden chairs. There’s so much to do but I’m so looking forward to catching up with friends.

    Unfortuantely I don’t think I’ll ever have a signed book from you – unless you extend your book signings to Scotland!?

    Have a lovely day,

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