5 Fun Ideas for the Kids’ Table on Thanksgiving

(Image credit: Courtney Whitmore)

We’ve all been relegated to the kids’ table at some too-late-in-life point. You remember it well: the beat-up folding table covered in a sad plastic tablecloth, complete with paper plates and mismatched, uncomfortable chairs. There was nothing chic or entertaining about it. But oh, how that’s changed for the kiddos growing up post-Pinterest.

Today’s Thanksgiving kids’ tables are bold, colorful, and often loaded with activities to keep little hands busy. It’s truly a win-win-win: The kids are preoccupied, the adults can enjoy the meal, and you get something fun for Instagram.

Use any of the ideas featured here, and your second cousin might not mind that she doesn’t get a seat with the adults.

Here’s proof that the Thanksgiving table doesn’t have to feature traditional harvest colors. And when kids are involved, remember bright (and shiny!) objects equal some form of distraction, even if it’s just for a few precious minutes.

A Bright Neon Table (with Easy Cleanup)

Last Thanksgiving, stylist and blogger Courtney Whitmore from Pizzazzerie was all about a bright-aqua table-covering paired with hot-pink flatware. And it’s a beautiful thing. Her cute turkey paper goods were the perfect color scheme inspiration, but you could use plates and flatware in any bold combination and add a festive touch with Thanksgiving stickers. And, instead of a fancy tablecloth, she layered patterned poster board over colored burlap. This way, she didn’t have to worry about spills, and cleanup was a breeze (she just tossed the poster board after dinner!).

For a centerpiece, she went with a scattering of acorns and mini pumpkins, the latter of which doubled as items the kids could decorate with stickers, ribbon, feathers, and markers.

(Image credit: Natalie Chang)

Reusable Thanksgiving Cups (That Don’t Spill)

You don’t have to go crazy buying a bunch of kid-friendly dinnerware — just a small, thoughtful touch here or there goes a long way. That’s exactly what we love about designer Natalie Chang’s Thanksgiving kid setup.

Her reusable Thanksgiving kids table cups, which you can buy here, become a nice little favor for kids to take home. And because they come with a frosted top (and straw), they’ll help prevent those inevitable spills that take you out of the moment.

Also, props to Natalie for those pretty chair decorations. The only supplies necessary? Orange ribbon, a couple swags of greenery, and pieces of white pom-pom trim.

Get an up-close look: Kids’ Thanksgiving Table on Instagram

(Image credit: Kim Byers)

A Turkey Craft for Kids

Kim Byers from The Celebration Shoppe also set a tiny table for tots, and the result is something that small partygoers will definitely appreciate. They might not notice the glam polka-dot runner or the “gobble gobble” cake topper she whipped up, but the turkey utensil holders are something kids can create before or during a Thanksgiving party.

Just have a bunch of coordinating card stock on hand for the kids to cut feathers out of, plus some favor bags and gum balls. (The full tutorial is here.) Instead of filling the bags with flatware, you could fill them with candy at the conclusion of the meal, so pint-sized guests have a takeaway.

Check out the turkey utensil holders: Thanksgiving Kids’ Table at The Celebration Shoppe

(Image credit: Nikkala Stephens )

Coloring Pages to Occupy Little Hands

Adults aren’t the only ones who like to color! Let’s not forget that this adult coloring phase stems from kids. This ingenious idea comes from Becky James, Nikkala Stephens, and Jamie Bare, the group of friends behind The Crafting Chicks blog.

They partnered with Whitney Watts of Whit Ro & Co to create a downloadable Thanksgiving coloring tablecloth that can be printed at your local copy shop. Once it’s printed, just throw it over a table and set out some crayons. The design is relatively intricate, so hopefully it’ll keep kids going for hours.

Oh, and the trio’s pilgrim hat crayon holders are pretty darn cute, too.

Download the PDF: Thanksgiving Coloring Tablecloth at The Crafting Chicks

(Image credit: Jen Wood)

A Table for Doodling

If you run out of time, don’t be afraid to keep it simple like blogger Jen Wood of Crafted by Jen did last year. Just cover your table with white kraft paper; set out crayons, markers, or colored pencils; and let them go to town doodling.

Feel like doing a little more? She also suggests stocking up on supplies for a Thanksgiving-themed craft session like the felt feather crowns seen here.

Get more ideas: Tips On Setting the Kids Table at Crafted by Jen

Try any of these ideas and you might even have adults asking to change seats.