Make your Thanksgiving Kids’ Table a special place for your little guests. Here are some tips on how to make the kid’s dining table look spectacular, along with some ideas for engaging activities!

Thanksgiving kids' table set with fall decor and pink chairs.
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Originally published November 10, 2014 and updated July 6, 2021 with fresh content and inspiration.

You always hear about the dreaded Thanksgiving kids’ table, but I like to make it so special that kids proudly say, “This table is just for us!”

I like to create a table that’s fun, festive, and full of age-appropriate place settings and activities. Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to teach our children about being thankful.

And by creating a table just for them, our children know how thankful we are for them, too! They’ll feel like the guests of honor!

If you have room at the main table for everyone, then of course the little ones can sit there. However, when multiple families are dining, it just makes sense to have a second table for smaller children.

For one, it gives everyone a little more elbow room. Another good thing is that adult conversation is often boring for kids, so having their own table gives them the opportunity to practice social skills and have pleasant conversations at their own level.

Thanksgiving kids' table set with Walmart's Better Home and Garden line.

Location and Size

With so many people hustling and bustling around the dining room and kitchen, it is easy for little ones to get underfoot and bumped into. So, choose a location for the Thanksgiving kids’ table that is close enough to the main table to be supervised, but far enough away that they are out of the traffic flow. This also ensures that they can hear each other talk over the voices of the adults.

It might also be convenient to have the kids table on a hard surface or a washable rug. This allows for easy clean-up if there are spills.

I love to use a table that is appropriately sized for children. This adds to the feeling of ownership. It can also reduce possible spills because kids don’t have to climb up to sit on the chairs.

A little girl sitting at a Thanksgiving kids' table.

Settings for the Thanksgiving Kids’ Table

Have fun with their table. While adults enjoy and appreciate all of your main table Thanksgiving centerpieces, kids will love having something different that is youthful and fun.

A thanksgiving kids' dining table set with place settings and small pink chairs.

I found a darling table runner that added a little fall color to the girls’ cream and pink table set. I added squirrel and owl bowls, along with some irresistibly cute owl salt and pepper shakers.

Thanksgiving Kids' table set with cute fall inspired critters.
kids' dinning table with owl salt and pepper shakers

These pieces give a harvest vibe while still being fun enough for kids. I like using short pieces instead of tall floral arrangements.

This way, kids can see over the pieces at their peers and it reduces the risk of spilling something if the table is bumped.

Kids' dining table with owl bowl

Isla enjoyed talking to her owl bowl. I think these will be a favorite!

By using just a few extra and special pieces, kids feel important. Setting the kids’ dining table took just a few minutes, and the little bit of time was worth it!

You may even have to leave the Thanksgiving kids’ table out for a few extra days because they’ll love it so much!

Thanksgiving kids' table with squirrel bowl

Kids’ Activities

In addition to setting a fun and beautiful kids’ table for Thanksgiving, some quick and easy activities are a great way to keep them entertained during those final minutes of preparation.

Prepare these activities in advance so that the time leading up to dinner is stress-free. The kids will be happy, and so will you!

  • Write “thankful for” cards.
  • Let them create thank you cards – stock the table with card stock, envelopes, crayons and stamps. You may want to set this station up on a card table or coffee table.
  • Print word searches and crosswords {for older children}.
  • Read them a book, or let an older child read to the younger ones. I love “Let’s Be Thankful” by PK Hallinan.
A little blonde toddler reading a Let's be Thankful book.

Do you have any favorite “thankful” books to share?

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    1. Hi Nell!
      Those were from Walmart quite a few years ago, I think part of the BHG line.
      I’m sorry I can’t be of more help, good luck with your kid’s table, so much fun!

  1. I love those little critter dishes. I kept looking at them thinking I should get some for my kids…. 😉