I love to set pretty table, but setting a fun kid table might be my favorite thing to do. Here I created a Mayflower Centerpiece, pilgrim and Indian kid characters and a Thankful Turkey Craft that will keep kids occupied while you’re cooking or enjoying your meal.
Some things to keep in mind when setting a kid-friendly table
- Use gift wrap. Always remember that gift wrap is your friend when setting a theme table. Here I used a patterned craft paper as a runner for the table. Kids (and adults) can color or spill on it and it’s no big deal.
- Use paper goods, but stay away from cheesy designs. Go ahead and use paper goods, but you don’t have to use cartoon characters or other cheesy designs. Pick a couple coordinating patterns in your party colors for your plates & napkins and stick to clear for utensils. Here I used chevron pattern plates in teal and yellow from Target.
- Use pictures of your kids. Kids love seeing their pictures and names on things. If you don’t have time to make them into characters like I did, first you could always contact me and I can set up a custom listing in my Tonality Designs Etsy Shop for you. Or simply print out a few pictures of your kids and use them as their place cards or frame them as part of your centerpiece.
- Have an activity to keep your kids at the table longer! Here I created a craft, but you could also just line the table with craft paper and provide crayons and markers. Or print out a coloring sheet that matches your party theme. These simple touches will make kids want to gather at the table and stay awhile.
Details for my Thanksgiving Kids Table
The DIY Mayflower Centerpiece file is three letter size (8.5 x 11″) pages that you print on cardstock. Two of the pages are used to create the base of the ship and the third page includes the sail pieces. In addition to the printable, all you need is a piece of foam, a piece of wrapping/tissue paper to cover your foam, a dowel rod and double-sided tape. Once you purchase the file I email detailed instructions with step-by-step pictures. Or if you are really curious, check out my Pirate Birthday Party for how I did the original pirate ship version, it’s the same exact process.
I lined my table with a patterned Kraft paper and then placed the centerpiece in, surprisingly, the center. I then surrounded it with a variety of pumpkins in white and orange.
For the pilgrim and Indian kid characters, I designed a Thanksgiving character for each of the kids in our family. I used them in the pirate ship and mixed into the pumpkins I also used on the table. If you would like me to customize characters for you of your kids, just contact me and I can set up a custom listing in my Tonality Designs Etsy Shop for you. Or if you want to get crafty, you could also create them as a scrapbooking craft.
For the place cards, I set each place setting with all the materials needed for the kids craft. Since the craft used Kraft paper berry baskets, I decided to use that to display each kid’s name. You’ll need a paper straw, some white feathers and a piece of paper to write your child’s name on. Stick 3 white feathers into the top of the straw. Print or write names on a strip of paper and tape to the straw. Cut a small “x” on the bottom of the berry basket. Place the berry basket bottom side up on your plate and insert straw. This is a great way to show the kids where they sit, plus they feel special finding their name.
For the drinks, I served apple cider in small quilted mason jars. And every kids table needs a party straw. I embellished mine with using scrap fabric pieces.
For the plates, as I stated earlier, I love paper goods, just not cheesy ones. I alternated each place setting with either a teal or a yellow chevron plate I found at Target. The patterns played nicely with the patterns I designed. I left off the silverware and napkins because we were doing the craft first.
For the Thankful Turkey Kids Craft, I created a free print-it-yourself file for making the Thankful Turkeys. The Thankful Turkeys will have kids crafting and reflecting on all they are grateful for this holiday season. Once they are done with their creations, they can share what they are thankful for with each other and the whole family. You can use your own scrapbooking papers or simply download and print my free Thankful Turkey printable. Just see my Thankful Turkey Kids Craft post provides the file and instructions for the craft.