In Little House on the Prairie , Mary, Laura, Ma and Pa each had a tin pate and a steel fork. Ma and Pa each had a tin cup, but Mary and Laura had to share their cup. In each of the Little Houses, Ma always put a red-checked tablecloth on the table. It was a between-meals tablecloth. Before each meal, Ma removed the tablecloth to keep it clean and new.
Pack away all dishes except one set for each family member. After every snack/meal each person is responsible for cleaning their dishes. Makes so much sense. Also makes life easier without a dish washer...no dishes to pile up!