Piggy Platter “Because we all know kids can be….messy”
Not a Thanksgiving goes by where someone in the family doesn’t mention a specific incident involving my brother and a fort of mashed potatoes filled with gravy and the ultimate collapse of said fort walls as my brother began to eat. Over 20 years ago, but still the story persists. Whether it is nature or nurture, the kids in my family tend to be messy eaters. It is not uncommon for there to be food strewn about the whole table with only clean spots where plates once were when everyone gets up to clear their dishes. At one point it was threatened that the kids table would forever move outside if anymore white tablecloths were ruined as a result of us eating in proximity to the adults and fine linens. Not only have my siblings and I all successfully moved from the kids table – yahoo! – we now have our own young children to ensure that the tradition of messy eaters will endure for generations to come. Which is why the new tradition in my family is going to be the use of Piggy Platters. They are designed specifically for families like mine who enjoy each other’s company but hate the clean up after we all get together.
The Piggy Platter is a rectangular shaped piece of molded plastic that has a slightly raised edge on the top for handling small spills, has a detachable rubber spill guard in the front and is complete with an anti-slip gasket under the rim of the Platter to hold it in place. Why no suction cups, you ask?
Quoted Text from the Piggy Platter website:
We did consider suction cups, but not for long! Any suction cup product we purchased didn’t work on our wood table, nor, on a different surface, beyond two uses after putting them in the dishwasher. We wanted to be sure and give parents the option of cleaning their Piggy Platter in the dishwasher!
It may not secure on to the table as well as if suction cups were used, but I was actually happy that the Platter did not have suction cups. Mostly because I have a wood table that I don’t want suction cup rings embedded in, and also because sometimes I put the Piggy Platter over my tablecloth, which wouldn’t work at all with suction cups.
Before I saw one in person I was half expecting these Platters to be a flimsy plastic placemat or maybe just a little bit thicker, as I am becoming somewhat pessimistic about the quality of children’s gear throughout the years. But, I was pleased to find the Piggy Platter has a heavy duty design that was made to last through generations. It is fully dishwasher safe and super easy to clean up, which means that you will actually use it – daily. I don’t know about you, but I have been burnt in the past by “dishwasher safe” items only to find that they are too large to fit in my standard dishwasher, but I was happy to note that the Platter fit very nicely and didn’t have to take up the diagonal measurement of the dishwasher, thus leaving room for a full load of dishes.
For all you parents out there lamenting what your child’s gear has done to your décor, Piggy Platters are clear, which means that if they don’t match, you’re doing something wrong. They come in “colors” but the colored portion is just around the very edge of the Platter, so even if it was a horrible match for your household colors, it wouldn’t be too noticeable. However, I did go with white as I prefer to change out my color scheme periodically.
Marketed as a potential learning product, the Piggy Platter website shows numerous options for engaging your children as they eat and for encouraging learning. They offer pre-made colorful learning sheets for purchase with the Platter, but they also offer templates and guides for creating your own free learning material, which I am completely thrilled about. I am a huge fan of combining eating with learning and the Piggy Platter is no exception. After viewing the website that showed the learning material used with the Platter, I incorrectly assumed that the learning material would be encased in the Platter itself and at first I was surprised that it wasn’t. I was incredibly relieved when I saw that the learning material simply rests underneath the Platter without interfering with the slip-proof gasket rim. This means that I (and my kiddos) are much more likely to renew the material every once in a while, and it also means that I don’t have to disassemble the Platter every time I wash it. All parents reading this are breathing a collective sigh of relief.
The first thing I did upon opening the Piggy Platter was to run it through the dishwasher to see how it held up after a good scrubbing. It washed up as good as new, with no clouding or discoloring of the clear surface at all. Since my dishwasher doesn’t ever fully dry our dishes, I placed the Platter on the counter to dry the rest of the way before I put it away and in the few hours it was sitting on the countertop, hubby and I used it as a prep surface numerous times. It was perfect for making PB&Js for lunches as well as using it as an anti-slip surface under our baby food mill. I loved it so much as a prep surface that we now set it out by the toaster when it’s not being used at the table so we can butter our toast without having to waste paper towels and napkins. That’s right, we went Green on you.
The only issue I had with the Piggy Platter at all was getting the hang of attaching the “gutter” or spill guard to the front of the Platter. Once I read the instructions on the website with their tips for getting a good fit I’ve had no trouble, but at first I couldn’t get it to stay in very securely. Here are their tips for ensuring a proper fit:
1. Turn the Platter upside down on your counter
2. Wet your thumb/fingers with water
3. Place one end of the gutter into its slot
4. Push and slide your into thumb/fingers across the gutter length-wise
While on their website I found a few other uses for the Piggy Platter that I am really excited to try out: using it as a craft mat, a finger painting platter and for my favorite, the Play Doh Platter. With so many uses, you will never need to put it away!
Price: $29, which is more than a standard placemat, but the fact that it is multi useful and just might save you the space of storing an art easel, a craft table and more makes up for the larger price.
Functionality: Great, sure to be a parent favorite.
Looks: It’s clear, which means it’s awesome.
Rating: 5 out of 5 marks, for an awesome multi purpose design that combines learning and eating – what’s not to love?