Nov 20 , 2013

Turkey Time: The Kids' Table

Planning the Thanksgiving tablescape is half the excitement surrounding the big day. We determine a color scheme weeks ahead and make certain to set aside ample time to polish the silver (do people really use silver??  Let's be real....I'll be scraping the dried-on bits of oatmeal off the forks....you're welcome guests), pull out the fine china, light the candles, iron the tablecloths, assemble the fresh-cut flowers, and carefully place the acorns, gourds and place cards until every thing looks just right.  We put forth our best effort to set a scene fit for the fanciest.  But what about the children??  The ones who will not be allowed to sit their spill-proned hiney's on my ivory upholstered chairs.  The ones who will have an easily-wiped table all to themselves.  It is important to me that this is a memory-making meal for them as well, so we do a couple extra steps whilst setting the kids' table to ensure they feel special instead of shunned (and to keep them entertained- because an occupied child is a child not sitting on your lap when all you want to do is get that gravy in your belly). First, we cover the kids' table with butcher paper and outline spots for each plate, cup and silverware (happy reminders to help lessen the chance of a spill).  Then we put down a sturdy paper plate, topped with some coloring pages and a little pack of crayons (the dollar store is your friend).  We finish each child's setting with a most adorable Oreo Turkey- taken straight from Our Best Bites (they really do get everything right.  You should probably stalk them).  The turkeys may be used as place holders, but we usually use them as a snack to keep the little babes tied over until the adults are ready for dinner to begin (and write each kid's name above the drawn-on butcher paper plate in crayon or marker.  PS-Older kids love decorating their names and place settings!!!).  My kids cherish the time they spend assembling the turkey's with their dad while I am busy trying not to ruin dinner in the kitchen.  We all win.  And winning is delicious. **Do the children have a separate Thanksgiving dining location from the adults in your home?  What do you do to make the meal special for them?**

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