How to Make the Kids Table More Fun at Thanksgiving

A DIY tabletop with crayons, fabric paint and owl stickers

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a very busy time of year. When it’s finally time to sit down to a meal many hands have prepped for hours, grown-ups want to do just that: sit.

But how do we keep little ones in their seats? Here is an idea that may allow for a quieter meal. Make the kid’s table fun by converting the tablecloth into a canvas. If their area caters to them, kids will be more likely to sit longer and eat better. Kids love to participate in activities!

To prep the table, first lay down a plastic table cover (you may want to place on the floor too, as a drop cloth). This will waterproof and art-proof the area. To make the canvas, use a plain white tablecloth on top—no need for fancy linens this time!

Next, pile on the art supplies. Include fabric paint, markers, glitter glue, puffy paint and googly eyes galore. Please make sure everything is non-toxic, though, and consider the age group of your audience. You probably won’t have to tell the kids twice that they’re allowed to draw all over the table, but you could provide an example for inspiration. Before anyone arrives, trace your hand to make a leaf shape or a turkey. Write your name or draw a pumpkin in glitter glue—something to spark ideas.

You could also set out beads, acorns, pipe cleaners, paper, crayons and feathers so kids can get creative and make up their own crafts. If you wanted to protect special outfits, drape a large cotton T-shirt over each chair so parents have the option of dressing kids in smocks that will double as secondary canvases.

Table cloth with paint brushes and owls