Give the Kids Something to Look Forward to at Thanksgiving
Every family has it–the kids table! It’s a place that you inevitably get stuck as a teenager or young adult and are ready to get away from. As a kid though, I always thought that it was tons of fun to hang out with the other kids at the family holiday time. It’s always a bit more laid back and of course fun to eat the big Thanksgiving dinner with people your own age. I came to appreciate it, but I think that there’s always room for improvement. I grew up and then started having Thanksgiving at my own house, and I always like to think of ways to make things more interesting. I looked at the kids table as a challenge–how could I make it fun for the little ones (and
sometimes bigger ones) so that they wanted to stay there?
Thanksgiving is a fun holiday, but let’s face it–it’s no Christmas! There are no gifts to look forward to, nor are there songs to sing. It’s a pretty straightforward fancy meal. Though everyone looks forward to the big meal, there’s no real excitement around it. Why not spice things up? Here are a couple of ideas:
*Use butcher paper as the tablecloth on the kids table and put out a ton of crayons, markers, and colored pencils. Let the kids go to town drawing and coloring right on the “tablecloth”, just be sure that they know it’s one made special for them. (don’t want them to think they can do that on a regular basis) The kids will be entertained and can have fun drawing on an unconventional surface.
*Put a little prize bag by each kids spot, gives them a little something to open and have fun with. You need not get carried away with it, just put some age appropriate toys for each child. You could even go with some of the classics that bring even adults to life–a little Silly Putty or Play-Doh, a Slinky, maybe even a game of cards for later.
*Let the kids decorate their own cookies. It sounds cheesy, but you’d be amazed at how much kids love to be involved and help. Save this fun little activity for later on when they get a bit restless. Have the pre-baked cookies ready to go on a cookie sheet or individual paper plates, then bring out a few colors of frosting and some decorations and candy. You have now given them something to do and made it a delicious experience!
*Put a name card by each child’s spot, and make it a good size. Then let them decorate it while they are coloring away. This makes it formal but fun and lets them express themselves.
*Give the kids their own food that’s not for adults. Put out some carrots and dips, maybe some oven baked fries for dinner, and then their very own dessert that is off limits to adults. This gives a fun little twist and keeps the kids altogether.
With just a few simple ideas, you can make Thanksgiving fun for the whole family. The kids table need not be a boring experience, you can spice it up so that the kids really enjoy it!