You remember the kids’ table, right? In my house it was this rattly old card table that had to be 20 years old. Sometimes we got a tablecloths to cover the peeling vinyl.
And stuck there, far away and sometimes not even in the same room? How bad did that suck? Especially when you had to sit next to cousins that you didn’t even know and, frankly, smelled kind of funny.
Sure, you could just add an extra leaf to the dining room table or make everyone sit at rickety card tables to even the playing field.
But why not go the extra mile? Create a totally kick-ass kids’ table that will have every kid in attendance giving you their thanks.
There are just three keys to every great kids’ table ...
No one likes to sit someplace where they don’t feel welcomed -- including kids. So invite them in!
Use some of these placecard printables, or let the kids make their own. A little paper, crayons, and a few embellishments (think feathers or sequins and stickers) -- they'll be busy, busy bees in the time leading up to dinner. And who can resist a paper-bag drumstick?
Placemats are one way to make little ones feel like they're part of the adult crew. Use plywood coated with chalkboard paint for a fun and entertaining placemat. Squares of burlap stamped with leaveswork, and even fresh fall leaves pressed between two pieces of waxed paper. Or hit the dollar store for a fall-themed vinyl tablecloth, then cut and hem (or get out the Stitch Witchery) for a finished edge. Instant indestructible placemats!
Banish boredom by providing activities that everyone can get into.
Placemats made of plain brown kraft paper and “framed” with marker make perfect blank canvasses for a set of crayons at each place.
Provide small games, mazes -- even a trivia quiz. Have paper leaves ready so that everyone can write down what they are thankful for -- as many times as they like. (You can put these in a scrapbook or string as a garland to use again next year.)
Remember being relegated to the far end of the card table and desperately needing butter for your potatoes? No one ever heard you from the other end of the table.
Make dinner extra special by providing butter, gravy, milk, and the like just for kids.
Give them a special snack area. Nothing's worse than being a hungry kid and told dinner's still an hour away. Provide them with fun snacks -- a cut pear makes a great turkey. Arrange skewers of fruit and cheese into a fan shape and poke them into a mini-pumpkin for another tasty turkey-themed snack. Use parchment paper rolled into cones to provide pretzel sticks and roasted nuts -- a fun Thanksgiving sticker will hold it all closed.
How are you making the kids' table special this year?