8 Ways To Plus Up The Kids’ Table For Thanksgiving

This post was sponsored by Dole. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

With Thanksgiving happening this week I know everyone is busy planning out the final dishes they will serve, buying food, thawing out the turkey and making sure the house feels festive and warm. But there’s one spot that can be overlooked in all the preparation for Thanksgiving; the kids’ table.





The kids’ table can feel like an afterthought for a lot of people because you might think the kids don’t care. However, my kids always love when I make something a little more special for them and my daughter has even started looking forward to it on holidays and birthdays. I love seeing the delight in their eyes when I take a little more time to do something for them with all the chaos the holiday season brings.

I, very easily, get caught up in the details of cooking and all the food preparation. But at the end of the day, I’m most thankful for my family and the gift of motherhood these children have given me. Taking a few extra minutes to make something more special for them during these big celebrations is the least I can do in return.

So I decided I wanted to make the kids’ table feel more fun and make it feel just as celebratory as the adult table. The following ideas are a collection of things I have done or things I will be doing to make sure my little turkeys feel some extra love this Thanksgiving.

Make it kid-sized

If you have little ones, give them a little table. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from having a son in food therapy it’s that it is actually important for them to have a study place to sit where they can have their feet flat on the ground. Not only that but it also seems to eliminate a lot of the wiggling that happens when they’re placed at the larger table.

Give them food they enjoy

Whenever the holidays roll around I seem to forget that my kids aren’t going to eat half of the things that come across their plate because their palettes aren’t that of an adult. The other 50 percent of things that they will eat usually consist of cookies, cake and pie, which, obviously, does not make for the most nutritious dinner.

To get something good into them I try to give them foods I know they will eat, like these Fruitocracy Pouches from Dole. Both of my kids eat these and they’re great to give them as a snack before the festivities get started or even as part of the meal itself. Since they are all-natural fruit, and non-GMO I feel good about including them as part of the meal.

Make the food fun

I also love to make food fun for my kids when I have the opportunity. Whether it’s just a normal day at home or a holiday to celebrate I try to make the good stuff special. For Thanksgiving, I turned their favorite Dole Mixations into little turkeys to make them more fun and festive. Here’s what you need for this craft:

  • Dole Mixations cups of Dole Fruit cups
  • Construction paper in brown, red, orange and yellow
  • Tape
  • A black market
Steps:

1. Use the bottom of the Mixation cup as a guide for a circle on your brown construction paper. Tape that circle to the bottom of the cup.

2. Next cut out a brown sort of swish for the turkey’s head. Think of it as a sideways, upside down raindrop. Tape it to the center of the brown circle.





3. Cut out feather shapes from your red, yellow and orange construction paper. I put each piece of paper on top of one another so I could make them all roughly the same size and cut more than one at once. I used nine feathers for each turkey. Tape the feathers to the label side of the cup.

4. Cut out a yellow triangle for the turkey’s beak and tape that to the back of the turkey’s head.

5. Cut out a teardrop shape from the red construction paper to use as the turkey jowls. Tape this to the back of the back of the turkey’s head.

Hey Mom, you'll enjoy these too!

6. Lastly, use the black marker to make an eye for your bird.

That’s it! It’s a quick, little craft that my kids loved and appreciated. They played with the turkeys and then, when they were hungry, torn them apart to eat them.

Make the dinnerware kid-appropriate

I know it can be tempting to break out the good china and silver for each holiday to make it fell magical and beautiful. And you should use the special dinnerware on a special day, just don’t give it to the kids. My mother-in-law has these beautiful, little, glass goblets that she let’s the kids drink sparkling grape juice out of at the holidays. One year one of the kids broke a glass and she was devastated.

My advice is to avoid the heartbreak and broken glass and make sure their dinner-wear is kid-appropriate. For us this means festive paper plates and sparkly silverware that can be tossed after it’s used. As an extra bonus you won’t have to add any of this to the dishwasher.

Let them be creative

Similar to the point above, I don’t use a good table cloth for the kids’ table. Instead, I found a large roll of brown paper that I used to cover the table and the kids can use as canvas. I really love this idea because it gets everyone involved in sitting at the table and is something you can do in between courses or before dinner that will help spur conversation and creativity. My daughter loves any chance to color so having the whole table to color on is like a dream come true. You could even do this on the adult table and just throw a nice runner down the middle. 🙂





Don’t forget to decorate

Just because it’s the kids table doesn’t mean that it has to barren of beautiful, fall decorations. Again just make sure it’s kid appropriate. For the kids table, I use fake candles to give the ambiance of the adult table but make sure they’re safe while eating. I then dressed the table with some fake flowers to complete a centerpiece look. Since my kids usually end up playing with whatever they can get their hands on, I saved the real and delicate flowers for the adult table.

Make it personal

To make the kids table feel special, versus a table that preteens don’t want to be banished to, make it feel more personal. You can do this simply by adding fun place cards or something special to each seat. I used holiday ornaments that also doubled as place cards. This gives my kids something that’s “mine” at the kids table while marking their place. It also gives them something cute to take away after Thanksgiving is over.

Remind them of the reason behind the season

Sometimes Thanksgiving can get a little lost in the shuffle of the holiday season. Christmas celebrations seem to start earlier and earlier and Thanksgiving can get a little eclipsed by the sparkle of the season. That said, I try to explain to my kids why we celebrate Thanksgiving and make sure they understand it too. Then I ask them what they’re thankful for and we write it down. In the past we’ve written it on turkey feathers and decorated a door of the house. This year we are writing them on leaves and using those leaves to further decorate the kids table.

My daughter shocked me when she first said she was thankful for her family. It was a total mom win and one of those moments when I felt like I might be doing something right here. Then I asked her what else she was thankful for and she said, “Santa.” Well, one out of two isn’t bad and at least we were first. 🙂

My son, who is still a little young to get it, said he was thankful for leaves. Also better than something like toys or the tablet. My husband said our service men and I said daddy, meaning my husband.

How do you make your kids’ table feel special during the holidays?


About the Author

Everyday Mom Rachel
Author with 205 posts
More about Everyday Mom Rachel

Recent Articles

32 Comments

  • Taylor Aube November 20, 2017 08.41 pm

    This looks like such a fun craft, that turkey is too cute! The kids table always has the best entertainment, I swear haha!

    Reply 
  • Marta Rivera November 20, 2017 09.42 pm

    Did you mention where you purchased the plates? I read through but didn’t see it!

    Reply 
  • Hannah November 20, 2017 09.45 pm

    These are amazing ideas! I’ll admit I didn’t even consider my kids table!! I’m actually about to share this to my page so friends can utilize it too! Thanks!

    Reply 
  • Steph November 20, 2017 09.59 pm

    I really really like the brown paper as the table cloth! I think it could be fun at the adults table too!

    Reply 
  • robin rue November 20, 2017 10.13 pm

    I love your ideas. I am all for making things fun for the kids, so I think I will be doing some of these.

    Reply 
  • Karen Morse November 21, 2017 12.12 am

    Those are wonderful ideas for the kids to enjoy Thanksgiving meals! I love how the entire table looks, it’s definitely fun!

    Reply 
  • Mary Nicole Galbraith November 21, 2017 12.28 am

    This is so adorable! such great ideas here. Totally using these on my niece this year! <3

    Reply 
  • AnnMarie John November 21, 2017 12.39 am

    It would be awesome for the kids to enjoy Thanksgiving as well and one of the ways to do that is setting up a nice table for them! Love your ideas and I could totally use those when I get ready for Thanksgiving!

    Reply 
  • Beth Davidson November 21, 2017 12.53 am

    This is so cute! I’m going to have to pin this for later, my kids don’t quite need their own table yet, but I know when they do I want it to be special.

    Reply 
  • Krystal Butherus November 21, 2017 01.22 am

    These are really cute ideas! It’s great for the kids’ table to be a little dressed up, for a sense of importance.

    Reply 
  • Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh November 21, 2017 01.35 am

    This is such a cute kids table! Oh, I’ve done the brown paper wrap on the kids table one year, years ago, the kids loved it!

    Reply 
  • reesa November 21, 2017 03.30 am

    Oh what a great kid’s table! My kids love those Mixations! I wish I had more kids in our family so we could have this in my home!

    Reply 
  • Cynthia Nicoeltti November 21, 2017 03.31 am

    Nice ideas for a youngster table. We are in the middle of the next generation having babies so it will be a little time before we set up again a kids table. Love it !!

    Reply 
  • Tiffany November 21, 2017 12.31 pm

    I love all of these suggestions! I am hosting Thanksgiving this year and have 6 kids to occupy! I’m definitely stealing a trick or two from this post.

    Reply 
  • Terri Steffes November 21, 2017 02.53 pm

    How adorable is this! Now I want to sit at the kid’s table. Honestly, though, who wouldn’t when most of the time your family discusses politics!

    Reply 
  • Sheila Schweiger-Rhodes November 21, 2017 02.56 pm

    What sweet ideas! We don’t have little ones anymore, but it is good to make their table feel as special as the adult’s table.

    Reply 
  • Journa Ramirez November 21, 2017 03.06 pm

    Now this is the meaning of “fun” and “exciting” Thanksgiving feast for kids! I love everything on that table

    Reply 
  • Jessica Joachim November 21, 2017 05.38 pm

    What adorable ideas! I love the idea of making the food adorable, and using a “table cloth” that they can color on and enjoy that way!

    Reply 
  • Audria November 21, 2017 08.22 pm

    This is so cute! What a great idea, you go crafty momma!

    Reply 
  • Stacey November 21, 2017 08.26 pm

    Great ideas! I especially like the paper table covering for the kids to color on. I will be using sone of these ideas for Christmas.

    Reply 
  • CIndy Ingalls November 21, 2017 09.11 pm

    So many fun ideas. I’m actually bringing some cute little crafts I found at Michael’s for the kids and placemats they can decorate for their table. Plus, it keeps them out of the way while I’m trying to cook.

    Reply 
  • Cassie November 21, 2017 11.10 pm

    Such cute ideas! It’s the little touches that make all the difference and are very memorable when you have a special event like thanksgiving! Thanks for the inspiration

    Reply 
  • Angela November 21, 2017 11.14 pm

    These are all such cute ideas! We always have a kids table, so I will give these ideas a try!

    Reply 
  • Melissa Chapman November 22, 2017 12.51 am

    It is so nice of you to concentrate on the kids and their table. In my life we were always put at the kids table and away from the adults with not many fun things like you made for the kids.

    Reply 
  • Ashley November 22, 2017 01.28 am

    What great ideas!!! Loving the little Turkey. You are one crafty mama!!

    Reply 
  • Brittany November 22, 2017 01.35 am

    These are great ideas to make the kids table more fun and memorable. I always felt excluded or like I was missing something when I had to sit at the kids table. These ideas would totally make the kids table to desired place to sit!

    Reply 
  • Krystel | Disney on a Budget November 22, 2017 02.34 am

    No one did this for us when I was kid haha. Actually, don’t think there was a kids table. This is so fantastic.

    Reply 
  • serena November 22, 2017 03.22 am

    This is super cute. No one did this when I was a kid, but I’ve been doing it for years for the kids at my table.

    Reply 
  • Heather November 23, 2017 12.18 am

    These ideas are so cute! My daughters would love to have some fun added to the table just for them tomorrow!

    Reply 
  • nancy November 26, 2017 01.10 am

    so many great ideas here. I wil be trying this.

    Reply 
  • Ebony November 27, 2017 03.19 am

    This is so creative to make turkeys out of fruit cups. I love the table scape as well, so beautiful, I’m sure I can accomplish this with my kids.

    Reply 
  • Toughcookiemommy December 01, 2017 04.20 am

    I love the idea of making the food fun. This is a great way to entice those picky eaters to finish their food.

    Reply 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe & Follow

Featured On

Instagram

Tweets

Badges