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Will you have a "kids table" tomorrow?
November 21, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I saw this in The Stir - We always had so many people at my aunt & uncle's Thanksgiving dinners that we usually had at least one, sometimes 2 kids tables!

The Kids' Table: Why You Want One & How to Make It Work

Posted by Adriana Velez on November 21, 2012 

kids tableAmong my favorite childhood memories is the Kids' Table. I come from a big family (five kids) within an even bigger family (my dad has 13 brothers and sisters). The grownups were always only too happy to seat us all at a separate table so they could actually have a civilized conversation with each other. And that was just fine with us! The last thing we wanted to have was a civilized conversation.

Ordinarily I'm all for families all eating together around the same table, but there are certain occasions when a kids' table is called for.Here are my kids' table guidelines.

1. More than one family. I only have one child and I'm not making him eat alone! But even in my childhood family of five kids, if it was just us, we all ate together. Bring in another couple with their kids, though, and I think everyone has a better time if we break it up into a kids' table and a grownups' table.

2. Kids are mature enough to eat alone. Obviously a kids' table isn't going to work for toddlers (although who hasn't fantasized about throwing the toddlers into a room with a bunch of goldfish crackers and just shutting the door?). Sometimes you'll need to do a combo -- independent, older kids at the kids' table with babies and toddlers at the grownups' table. How old is old enough? I think only a parent can decide that.

3. Have a few rules. The kids' table shouldn't turn into Lord of the Flies. Make sure everyone has forks and napkins, respects everyone else's space and plates, and doesn't throw anything. There should be some actual eating taking place, not just silliness. No outright screaming or yelling.

4. But accept a little chaos. It should still be fun, though. Maybe your kid won't eat enough. Oh well. Maybe there will be a lot of laughing and silliness. Great! The happier those kids are, the more time and space you have to enjoy the company of your grownup dining companions.

5. Make it their own. If you have time, have the kids decorate the table their own way. Have them set the table and remind them to clear their dishes after dinner.

6. Space, man. The kids' table should be close enough so you can tell if anyone is choking or injuring another. But I think having some space between the tables is more enjoyable for everyone.

Do you ever have a kids' table at your big gatherings?


  • diaperstodating
    November 21, 2012 at 1:55 PM
  • ForeverInLove
    November 21, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Nope. We, for one, dont' have that kind of space. Two, we only have two eating little ones, as the baby only eats what I make day and night :)

  • rocky_mtn_mama
    November 21, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    We always had a kids table growing up.  Who wanted to sit with the boring adults?  Not us!  lol

  • amonkeymom
    November 21, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    We'll have a couple of tables set up but everyone will just eat where ever they feel like.

  • Gweneveer
    November 21, 2012 at 8:35 PM
    No. I don't even like the idea.
  • DirtyHippyMama
    November 21, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    We dont but then again only one kiddo! 

  • DirtyHippyMama
    November 21, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    I have been to gatherings where there is one though 

  • nngmommy83
    November 22, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    nope, they sit with us =)

  • tatuchick4u2c
    November 23, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    we always spend it with just our small family of 4 so no kids table

  • flowerfunleah
    November 23, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    Dd was the only child there and she was in her high chair.

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