Tuesday 2 October 2012

The Kids' Table

October 8th is Thanksgiving here in Canada and many of us are busy
planning family meals.  

I'm awfully partial to Thanksgiving, myself.  It's a nice holiday:  An opportunity to tell friends and family how grateful we are to have them in our lives without the pressure of gift giving, the expectation of greeting cards, or the inclement weather we
often see at Christmas.  

And, of course, there's lots of really good food.  

Good food is always a happy thing in my world.  :)

When I was growing up, we always had a large family gathering at Thanksgiving.  Sometimes it took place at one of our grandparents' houses, sometimes at our own.  

Regardless of where we ate our Thanksgiving dinner, the adults could expect to enjoy it at a pretty table, set with the good dishes and decorated with a centerpiece or floral arrangement of some sort.  

The children could expect to dine at "the kids' table," set with everyday dishes and a paper cloth.  

Not that I ever minded this double standard:  We children far preferred the giggles and silliness at the kids' table to being on our best behaviour with the grown ups.  We were much more likely to get away with elbows on the table, or with making faces at our brothers and cousins than we would be if the adults were not occupied with each other's company at the grown up table. 

It was a rare Thanksgiving dinner that passed without a spill of some sort, an overturned glass of milk, or some Brussels sprouts cunningly hidden under the edge of a plate.  

On one memorable occasion spoons were turned into catapults, used for launching cranberry sauce across the table.

Small wonder the decision was taken to spare the best linen!  

The children's table tradition continues in our family and, with Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, I've been thinking about child-friendly table settings.  

Here are some good ideas I found on Pinterest:

Hip Hip Hooray Blog suggests covering the table with kraft paper.  Pencils, felt pens, or crayons for drawing on the paper would help keep little ones entertained while they're waiting for dinner to be served.

Printable Thanksgiving place mats can provide dinnertime fun too.  This one from Whatever Dee-Dee wants provides several interesting learning activities.

You can find more printable place mats at  There are lots of good activities there, designed to engage children in reading.

Let the children help with the preparations by making these fingerprint embellished place cards from Disney Family Fun.

It can be a long wait until dinner time.  This popcorn-filled paper bag turkey from One Charming Party,  provides piñata-like fun the kids are bound to enjoy.

Here's another healthy, turkey themed snack to tide them over, from Disney Family Fun.

Pie is great for the grown ups but little ones' eyes will light up if they're given these M & M-filled turkey favors from The Party Animal for dessert.


That should get me started!

I hope you can use some of these ideas too.


Anonymous said...

I love all the ideas. I had to giggle. My hubby and I sat at the children's table for years. I was wondering if I had to get to Grandma status to sit at the adult table.

Aunt B said...

lol! Me too! I love the kids' table though. My friend Alea says the conversation is more interesting there and I would tend to agree. ;)