Kids’ Table Setting Ideas for Dinner Parties

We all have memories of sitting at the kids’ table at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or dinner parties. A promotion to the grownup table was such a big deal, although it often was given only when space was available. But to be honest, all the fun was to be had at the kiddie table.

Here are some ideas to make the kid’s table even more fun, memorable, and meaningful:

Alternative Seating

Lisa Lefkowitz of Snippet & Ink set up a kids’ tent for dining at an anniversary party. Rather than traditional chairs, young guests sat on large, comfortable pillows or overstuffed ottomans at low tables. This setup is perfectly cozy and informal for kids but still looks beautiful.

With kids, comfort is everything....and sitting doesn't always happen for long. Sometimes unconventional ideas are the most attractive.

Lay Baby Lay's sweet setup is too cute not to share. The toddler-sized banquet table is totally elegant in the garden setting. The twinkle lights add to the magic and floral centerpieces give a very "grown-up" feel. But best of all, the simple seating gives impatient little guests the freedom of space they need to get through a meal and enjoy the party.

Angela Marie Events put together this campfire-themed setup. The log seating is so unique and inviting and the circular arrangement allows for plenty of chatter. It's a fun setting for an informal meal with a camping vibe, where s'mores for dessert round out the evening perfectly.

Sarah at Sheek Shindigs shared a simple and resourceful idea that's fun for kids. For a rainbow-themed party, unassuming tree stumps were dressed up with colorful crepe paper streamers. Such a magical set up for kids, with a lovely outdoorsy feel.

Creative Table Covers

Once kids are seated, there are fun ways to keep them busy at the table. Skip the fancy linens and go with something interactive instead.

Kelly at DIY Studio fashioned a chalkboard table runner that doubles as a car play mat. To make this engaging table cover, you will need:

  • Chalkboard contact paper
  • White or yellow tape
  • Chalk
  • Toy cars

Cut the chalkboard paper to the necessary length. Mark roads and dividing lines using pieces of tape. Check out her post for more detailed instructions and tips.

You could customize the paper in numerous other ways, as well. For instance, draw placemats outlining where everything should go, write each child’s name in fancy lettering or even leave the paper blank and give them cups filled with colored chalk and let them design their own runner.

Fields and Skies Photography shares another adorable way to keep kids engaged. Simply cover their table with a big sheet of craft paper, and write the day’s activities right on the table cloth. Kids can check off what the project’s they’ve completed and see what’s up next. A bucket full of goodies supplies everything they need for their projects plus sweet treats for their bellies.

Keep Them Busy

Adults have this boring habit of sitting, talking, and laughing long after dessert has been served. Providing entertainment as part of a kids’ table setting is an idea that will benefit everyone.

Something that can be amusing for everyone from preschoolers to teens is having their own disposable camera (yes, they do still sell those!). Not only will snapping photos give kids something to do, but the process can also result in candid shots you might not have record of otherwise.

Sargam at Wedding Party suggests printing out “I Spy” game cards for kids to use in a sort of photography scavenger hunt. You may even want to offer prizes to anyone who is able to complete the list.

Another way to occupy kids and keep them at their tables during dinner parties is to provide suitable activities. Claire at Bridal Musings recommends creating a box filled with entertaining items such as:

  • Coloring books, sketchbooks, or activity books
  • Crayons, pens, or pencils
  • Finger puppets
  • Bubbles
  • Play dough
  • Sticker books
  • Puzzles

The key is selecting items that are appropriate for the children’s ages, as well as the venue. At a dinner party held in your own dining room, you may not be as concerned about play dough on the carpet or stickers on the table as you would be at a rented banquet hall. You can give different items to kids depending on their ages, but bear in mind that the three-year-old could very well get ahold of the (permanent!) markers you presented to the 13-year-old.

Finally, don’t be afraid to get kids involved in the decision making process. They may have some marvelous ideas that could help to make your next dinner party a huge success!

How do you set up the kids table at your dinner parties? Share your fun ideas with us!

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