By Meagan Nordmann Fowler
Growing up, I personally had a love-hate relationship with “The Kids Table” at Thanksgiving. I know it was all my mom could do to cram all the adults around the largest dining table, and there simply was no room for us kids. So all of the cousins were relegated to “The Kids Table.” I realize now why I was always a little disappointed in sitting to the side: Our table was an after-thought. Mom would go all-out in planning and decorating the big dining table with lovely fall decorations (I remember one year there were fabulous bouquets of cotton from the nearby cotton fields and dried corn husks!), but when it came time for us all to sit down, the old card-table would get dusted off and unfolded for “the kids” and we’d scramble to find our mismatched chairs from different rooms in the house. However, actually eating at the table with all of my sisters and cousins will always remain a fond memory. Funny enough, there still aren’t enough chairs at the dining table, and even though we’re now in our 20s and 30s, we still laughingly make our way to “The Kids Table” each year. (And we now actually prefer our separate table, too!)
To make “The Kids Table” more special, make sure it’s not a dusty after-thought. We’ve collected some fun ideas to help entertain the little ones and to make Thanksgiving a creative time to share our love and gratitude:
Placemats and/or a table cloth they can draw on: Cover the entire table with butcher-paper and give each child their own handful of crayons (there are cute ideas to turn these crayons into turkeys. Check out this craft & this craft.). Draw placemats for them, or give them a placement from a “printable” that looks like a page from a coloring book.
Crafts Table: Before dinner is served, have several crafts set up for the kids to make with all of the supplies needed. This will allow you time to finish making dinner and for the adults to have time to socialize, as the kids keep themselves creatively entertained. The parents may be grateful for the artsy keepsake, too!
Fun Food: While the adults get the standards, such as turkey and dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole and a side serving of cranberry….the KIDS get to eat things like a candy cornucopia inside an ice cream cone or a pumpkin patch full of chocolate pudding. All those fun foods you see on Pinterest? The Kids Table gives you a great excuse to have even more fun in the kitchen!
Outdoor games: They won’t sit quietly at The Kids Table all day, so be sure to have some things set up in the yard to help them get their energy out. Enjoy the fall weather and keep the kids outdoors by setting up a game of Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe or a fun Croquet course.
Give Thanks: You might feel awkward going around the room asking adults what they’re thankful for (or you might not), but kids certainly give a good excuse to get a little more cheesy and lovey-dovey. We need to be good role models for them, right? There are so many ideas on how to get the “I’m Thankful For…” conversation rolling. It could be a part of the table setting, it could be prompted by paper found in their food (Thankful Rolls), or it could be a family activity, such as decorating a Gratitude Tree or Gratitude Pumpkin.
We’ve collected over 50 more ideas for Thanksgiving crafts, Kids Table settings, and “printables”. Check out our Thanksgiving Baby Board on Pinterest for more ideas! You may also like our blog about Fall Photo Op Inspiration, too.
Don’t forget to take lots of photos this Thanksgiving! Pick your favorite ones of your turkey and capture it forever in your BabyPage baby book. Tag us on Instagram (@babypage) and we may feature you on our page!
Feature Image Source: EllaClaireInspired.com