Tis’ the season to play host or hostess! As a child I can remember dreaming of the day when I would no longer have to sit at the lame-o kid table. The goings-on at the adult table always seemed far more appealing than having to sit at a tiny table with a bunch of drooling toddlers. At seven, I was far more advanced than my younger siblings and cousins and was insulted by the fact that the adults thought I fit in more with the thumb suckers than I did with them. Being placed at the kid table year after year gave me the determination to one day have the coolest kid table in town, so youngsters could have just as much fun as the grown-ups, sans wine, of course.
Tip 1- Fore go festive table cloths for the kids. They are pretty for adults to look at, but serve no purpose for children. Opt for a plain white, paper table cloth that can double as a coloring book. Use small boxes of crayons with each kid’s name on them as place settings. Kids love an opportunity to draw on things that are normally off limits.
Tip 2 – Get crafty! If you haven’t noticed yet, I am a huge craft activist! Who doesn’t love a good craft? At least an hour of entertainment plus a small treasure of some kind for mom and dad to save for years to come. I play hostess for Easter with my family so I buy eggs and dying kits with stickers and glitter and let the kids go to town decorating their eggs, followed by an egg hunt. Each kid gets a pail to carry home their loot in. If you are hosting Christmas, think up a cool Christmas craft like, my personal favorite, the clothespin reindeer.
Kids use clothespins, felt, googly eyes, poms and crayons to create and personalize their very own reindeer ornament. I make these every year with my boys and then we gift them to grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Tip 3 – Appoint table leaders! What might have made sitting at the kid table slightly more enticing? Being in charge of the table! Appoint the older kids as table leaders. Give them each a pin or something to distinguish themselves as leaders so they feel important. The leaders will be in charge of helping the younger kids put their craft together.
Tip 4 – Kiddie Cocktails! Now, I am not saying that cocktails are the best part of the holidays, but in some families they may be a necessity in making the evening run smoothly, and who doesn’t love making fun and fruity cocktails? Kids would love this too! Make some fun virgin drinks for the kids like this mock pink champagne. Combine 12 ounces chilled cran-apple juice, 12 ounces chilled white grape juice, 30 ounces chilled ginger ale for 12 servings of this tasty and sophisticated mock cocktail. Buy some disposable, plastic champagne glasses for a fancy feel without the hassle of broken glasses.
Make the kid table a place where kids want to sit, rather than where they have to sit. Bring in some balloons or a colorful centerpiece to make the table more welcoming! If the kids are having fun, the adults can relax and have more fun as well. Happy and healthy holidays!
This Article was Written by Kristina Diggins-Reisinger.
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