While the urge to channel your inner Martha Stewart and create an idyllic Thanksgiving tablescape is strong for many moms, for me, it’s a fleeting desire. I have a short attention span, and not a crafty bone in my body. I cater to two children that don’t appreciate the difference between Chinette paper plates fine china. If you are wondering how to create a practical but special, kid-friendly Thanksgiving table, Little Lake County is here to help. Peruse our collection of ideas from our favorite blogs and Pinterest that will help ensure that your Thanksgiving table is safe, kid-friendly and fun for the whole family.
Kid-Friendly Thanksgiving Table
1. Prepare in Advance
Talk about the holiday as it approaches: what the kids can expect, and what the expectations of them will be. Remember, they don’t have their eye on the calendar with years of Thanksgiving nostalgia to reflect upon. Read Thanksgiving books throughout November as a family. The Home School Post has put together a great list of all different kinds of Thanksgiving stories. Working on an ongoing gratitude project as a family, like a thankful wreath, is a great way to keep the meaning of the holiday on the forefront of their minds.
2. Fun Food
My mouth is watering as I think about Thanksgiving food, the real star of the holiday in my opinion. I remembered being appalled at my daughter’s fourth Thanksgiving when she wasn’t impressed by the food–I could not understand it. Then I realized I had shoved a plate full of practically new foods in front of her and expected her to be as excited as I was. Consider allowing your kids to help cook, or make sure there are simple or familiar dishes available to them. Try Melissa’s colorful veggie turkey as a vegetable alternative to traditional side dishes like Brussels sprouts.
3. Place Cards and Activities
When it comes to the feast, keep your kids in mind as your prepare the table. For some families, this means setting a separate children’s table. If you’re the crafty type, Lia Griffith has a beautiful and practical kids’ tablescape on her blog, along with free printables. The kids’ table can be fully prepped and set the day before to cut down on Thanksgiving day chaos and make the day more enjoyable for everyone.
At our house, the kids sit at the same table as the adults. If you’re like me, incorporating kid-crafted decorations and meal-time distractions on the family table is the way to go. I love these free printable placemats from Kids Activities Blog because they’re cute and great for everyone. Even if it’s just a conversation starter, once the meal is served, the placemat becomes a coloring sheet for the kids.
Rather than crystal, candles, or other decorating hazards, try using kid-made decorations as a centerpiece, or at least incorporating them into the decor. Classy Clutter has put together a great round-up of kids’ crafts to incorporate into your tablescape.
Each family’s celebration is unique, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to make the perfect holiday. Do what works for you and your kids, and enjoy the time with your family.
How do you make Thanksgiving special for your kids?
Find everything you need for Thanksgiving in Lake County.