I chose the "keep it simple and make it feel special route" for the kid's table- I didn't make turkeys out of candy or anything. (I'm not knocking that but since my little baby is only 5 months old I guess I'm not going way over the top this year-perhaps the table will get more elaborate as I have older children!). But I've included some other ways below to make their table feel special.
Tips for Decorating the Kid's Thanksgiving Table
- Use a tablecloth
- Protect your table with a cloth or plastic tablecloth. It will also make cleanup easy when it's all over! Just shake outside and toss in the wash or throw away! Easy peasy.
- Another great idea is to use butcher paper. You can get all kinds of colors at teacher supply stores or rolls of them at Michael's or Hobby Lobby too. Put out little cups of crayons and kids could have a blast.
- Use all paper or plastic and non breakable dishes
- This may seem like a given but cut down on dirty dishes, potential broken dishes and use cute paper goods to keep things simple yet festive. No one is too old to eat on a paper plate as seen in my grown up Thanksgiving table decorating ideas.
- Decorate simply
- I again, love using real pumpkins and squashes for several reasons. They are inexpensive and widely available in every shape and color. The kids can't break them or hurt them and you could even let the kids take them home as a little souvenir from Thanksgiving. Of course, kids could also decorate them after the Thanksgiving meal with markers or paint (if you were so craftily inclined). Here's one idea using handprints or just give sharpies (to older kids only) and let them write things they are thankful for directly on the pumpkin. Heck, adults would love this also!
- Incorporate games or activities
- I don't have anything pictured above because my printer was on strike the day I was decorating but I have seen some great links on Pinterest for all kinds of games: bingo, color pages, word searches, guess how many candy corn in a jar, trivia, connect the dots etc.
- Be strategic about these-if you want kids to eat and stay focused, don't bring out the activities until after they have eaten. If you want to eat in peace and don't mind when or how these are done, have then out and on the table so kids can do them as they please. Up to you!
|Image via Crazy Little Projects|
|Image via Celebrations At Home|
- Put a small favor or treat on the place setting
- Ok, a giant bag of candy probably isn't the best way to start your kids eating but you could also use stickers or even put apples on their plates and it would be cute! I actually thought about using these candy filled bags for adults as well just to be fun but went with a little more grownup table style instead. If you did want to do this, I just bought fall colored candies and put them in clear bags. Of course, if you want to do extra work-make candied apples or whatever else that is a special gift for the kids to take home. (Or if bribing your children with candy isn't again your parenting style-promise them some candy or pie after eating a more nutritious Thanksgiving meal. I'm not offering opinions here, just options!) Look for Halloween candy half off that's simply orange and white and save some money too!
- Use fun glasses
- Something about different cups make the day feel special for everyone. I grabbed these for 80% off the week before Thanksgiving. And especially the week of Thanksgiving all decorations and supplies will be highly discounted. I got these at Hobby Lobby (or lots of grocery stores have similar ones) and they are reusable so kids can take these home as a little favor or keep them for next year.
- Do what works for you
- Your kids want to sit on the floor? Ok great! Put out a blanket with paper plates and have at it! You want to have a full Pilgrim and Native American themed table with full costumes and authentic food- Go for it! Every family has different traditions and everyone's style is different but do what's the most fun and least stressful for yours. It's about what works for YOU!