Thanksgiving at my home growing up was a wonderful time, full of yummy food and great traditions! We always gathered with family or friends and reminisced on the year. Well...I think that’s what they did at the adult table. Being the youngest of five kids my sister and I were always lovingly assigned to the, “Kids Table”. I am pretty sure that I was still at the kids table well into my teen years. Don’t feel to bad for me I eventually made my way to the adult table after I was married and had my first child. I am exaggerating a little, but in memory of all those fun years I decided that this year I am going to devote my attention away from the typical adult formal table and focus on the most important table at Thanksgiving, “The Kids Table”.
1. Buy some flowers fresh or silk and let your kids create the table centerpiece.
2. Buy a napkin folding book and let your kids learn how to set the table and fold the napkins in fun ways. (This way always my job growing up.)
3. Take pictures of the kids showing what they are thankful for or fun memories from the year. Have them printed and place them on their table as a decoration. Let each child explain to their table why they chose that item or memory from the year.
4. Make them feel fancy by getting special plastic champagne glasses and plastic silver silverware at the store. (I actually found some great ones at the dollar store). I also like to buy Martinelli's to make Thanksgiving special!
5. Use butcher paper or chalk paper for your table covering. It’s always a hit at the kids table. If you think ahead you can create word searches on it using Thanksgiving words, draw place mats, or simply have the kids color on it while they’re waiting. It’s always a good idea to have something for the kids to be doing if the meal prep takes longer than expected.
6. Let your kids help with the food for their table. I like to let my kids either wear my aprons or use their own to feel special. When they lose interest after 15 minutes and you need to get the kids back out of the kitchen, send them on a Treasure Hunt looking for Thanksgiving items.
7. Create conversation starters. A couple years ago I wrote questions on slips of paper and put them in envelopes for each of my guests to answer. It made Thanksgiving more than just meal and made the conversation around the dinner table memorable. Also having the questions in individual envelopes made them feel special. (Ex. What was something that you did for someone else this year that made you happy?)
8. Have the older kids organize games to play after dinner like: “Spoons” or “Spot it after dinner. It is always a fun way to end the day!
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and you have been able to enjoy these helpful ideas!