If you want a no-fuss dinner with your little ones, read our guide to setting the perfect kid-friendly table to ensure peace and harmony (and a lot of fun!) at the dinner table.
1. Read the funnies
Not many of us are prepared to bring out our Sunday best tablecloth for the kids birthday party. But leaving the family dining table bare also poses other, potentially permanent problems. Instead of spending money on a new kid-friendly tablecloth that will be instantly destroyed, recycle your newspaper’s comic sections for a colorful and festive tablecloth that’s sure to be a hit with the kids.
2. Go color crazy
Kids of all ages love to color. Leave out plenty of crayons or markers on your table for your little guests to wield their creativity and encourage them to calm down once they’re seated. Placing crayons in tiny colorful planters, small sand buckets or in paper toy boats at each place setting ensures kids won’t fight over the colors. If you’ve children’s friends over give them coloring books and let them keep their crayons as a parting gift.
3. Lure them with gifts
If there’s one thing that kids love, it’s gifts. But sometimes getting kids gathered to the table can be as easy as herding cats. If the usual cake and ice cream gag won’t work, lure them in with small toys. Think small: Cracker Jack trinkets and vintage toys like yo-yos or Slinkies wrapped in a small boxes at each place setting will work wonders and keep them happy while you take care of dish duty.
4. Be plastic fantastic
It’s a no-brainer that plastic cups and plates should be used at kids tables, but disposable tableware isn’t the most environmentally friendly option. Choose a few sets of (dishwasher safe) child-themed tableware and let your kids decide on their favorite. Or, mix and match for an eclectic table with different themes at each place setting.
5. Let them eat cake
If most kids had their way, they’d eat cake all day long. Serving veggies on your tabletop may not be the most popular decision by your kids’ standards, but serving veggies on a cool platter may just get your kids eating their greens. Get out your cake stand and pile it high with loads of vegetables at the bottom, and cake or sweets at the top. Make a game out of it by telling kids that they must first conquer the first level before moving up to the top. Those veggies will be history before you can say “Go!”
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