We have about 13 days left until Thanksgiving Day. If you haven’t come up with ideas for your kid’s table, check out some of the ones I posted earlier this month. I updated this topic with a few more ideas for a fun, festive kid’s table.
Originally Posted November 2, 2015
Do you remember sitting at the “kids table” for Thanksgiving? Were you excited about it or did you feel excluded from the adults? Kids often have mixed feelings on this setup depending on their age and the location of the table. You can work on this, however. Read our post and learn how you can keep the kids well-behaved AND entertained while you serve guests and enjoy a few moments of adult conversation with the family.
Keep the Kids Close
Setting the kids table in a separate room may cause them to feel excluded from the real party. If your dining room is large enough, set the kids table up a few feet behind the main table. If you have a smaller sized dining area, try setting the tables closer to the walls. Traditionally, most dining tables reside in the center of the room. While this is attractive, it takes up extra space.
Make DIY Headbands
Using construction paper and your creativity, create an even number of Native American headdresses and Pilgrim hats. Let the kids choose which they want to be. It’s not a bad idea to have a few extra on hand to avoid fighting over who gets which headband.
Offer an Edible Cornucopia
Fill a waffle cone with candy corn, Chex cereal, pecans, and white chocolate. Kids will love the permission to eat a little bit of candy before dinner and they’ll appreciate the centerpiece that looks just like the one at the adults table.
Use Decorative Placemats and Placeholders
Themed placemats are visually stimulating and will help prevent a mess. We have adorable pumpkin placemats on our main site you should check out after this post. Add a small name card to the placemat. This small, personalized accent will make the kids feel like special, important guests.
Create a Coloring Station on the Table
Create a tablecloth using recycled Kraft paper. Many restaurants do this as a way to entertain both children and adults before the meal. Not only is it a great time for the kids, but it also makes cleanup much easier.
Challenge their Thanksgiving Knowledge
We all know that sometimes Thanksgiving dinner can take longer than expected, and nobody is less forgiving than a hungry child. In addition to appetizers and snacks, make sure you have something for their entertainment appetite too. Thanksgiving trivia cards on the table will create a competitive, fun, and challenging game for the kids to pass time.
Kids typically have smaller portions and eat faster than adults, so you’ll want to keep them at the table while everyone finishes. Create Bingo Cards Online using the word “FEAST” and terms around the holiday. Have the kids mark off the words as they hear one of the adults say one of the words. You can’t have bingo without prizes, so be sure to have something small for the first two winners.
Place a Dinner Checklist Next to the Plates
Before kids have dessert, you want to ensure they’ve eaten at least something substantial so they don’t get sick. Create a list of foods you want them to finish before they’re allowed to have dessert. Having the kids table close by, they won’t be able to cheat and throw the food away.
Leave Supplies for a “Thankful” Chain
The kids will also want something to do while patiently anticipating the awesome desserts you made. Remember the paper chains we made in elementary school, counting down the days to a holiday? This is the same idea. Kids love paper chains. In fact, I’m almost 30 and I still make them. Paper chains are just fun. That being said… have each child make a “ring” for the chain. Have the kids write something they are thankful for on their individual rings. Hang it for the adults to view and enjoy what their children had to say.
End with Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe
Chances are, the adults may want to stay for coffee and conversation after dessert. Since the kids have been separated from adults most of the night, they may want to be included at the end. During this time, create tic-tac-toe boards and use small pumpkins for the pieces. Have a few boards available and deem the game kids vs. adults. The night will end with happy memories and fun for everyone!
These are just a few of many options for making the kids table a fun atmosphere this Thanksgiving. As always, share your opinions and ideas in our comments section.
Update: 11/13 – 4 new ideas!
Kids Table Crafts
Pilgrim Hat Crayon Cups
Waffle Cone Cornucopias
Brown Paper Tablecloth