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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Do you have a "Kids Table" at your Thanksgiving meal?

Emily HurleyNovember 20, 2012
We always did just because of the space available when the whole family was in town. I remember really preferring the kids table, since we we got to be sillier. :)

Does your dining room seat all your Thanksgiving guests? If your dining room isn't quite large enough, do you have a kids' table?

Crisp Architects · More Info
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I'm 46 and would still opt or the kids table if I could get away with it.
6 Likes    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 2:22PM
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I always enjoyed the kids table. Usually now we can all sit together and that's fun, too. We have a much more relaxed Thanksgiving compared to the very formal one that I remember as a kid.
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:43PM
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Oh goodness yes we always had a kids table! There were always several craft projects to chose from plus coloringbooks and crayons, I had one whole wall covered with butcher paper too , the kids loved drawing on it! Each child had their own bag so they could store their project/books/crayons during dinner. When they finished eating and putting their dirty dishes in the kitchen then they washed up and went back to their project or coloring...it was great... they stayed busy and no "I'm bored" while waiting for dinner or after dinner.
Not only did all the kids get to spend time with their cousins but the adults had time together as well.
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 1:06AM
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No, they have to suffer my cooking at the "big" table just like everyone else :))
4 Likes    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 3:34AM
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My uncle Bob always sat with us at the kids table, and we loved it!! In the kitchen, away from the adults and free to giggle and misbehave! Personally, I would now opt for the tv tray in front of the tube following a grateful blessing of the bounty of a buffet table.........if I didn't think I would be shot. Wearing "expanda" pants with someone to run for the seconds and wait on me. Oh admit it... it would be fun for a change! : )
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:00AM
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Jan, that sounds good to me!
    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:08AM
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This year I'm putting a white tablecloth on kids table and having them write or draw pictures of what they're thankful with their names and year. Could be a fun tradition to bring out every year and add to.
4 Likes    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:52AM
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These dining rooms are all very beautiful and unique to their owners.

When I was a child, during large family dinners held in our modest sized home, me and my siblings were placed at our own tiny table, with plastic plates and small wooden chairs. We still had to eat everything on our plate, behave and asked to be excused. No ‘jacking’ around! We knew how hard our mom worked to prepare the meal, clean and decorate the house and we were not going to add to her work with misbehaving. With my family, it was all about respect and appreciation. Of course after dinner there was time to go off and play with our cousins and enjoy the evening as children should.

Later on in years my parents moved to a little larger home with a bigger table. The grandchildren are now placed on slim stools between the adults and part of the ‘action’. Still, there is the expectation to be respectful, eat what’s on their plate and asked to be excused. With children of course there are little moments were they get squeaky and/or restless, but everyone is together and enjoying these far and few between, precious family dinners as often as we can.

In my own home, I always set the dining table to accommodate children visiting, and make sure to place them near or between their parents. The only difference with their place setting is the size of cutlery and water glass, and I use the same china, silver and glass as the adults. No plastic cups or plates, in an effort to make them feel special too! I also make sure they have a little toy next to their place card, just for them.

Teaching children as early as possible to behave and treat others, especially their parents, with respect and gratitude will serve them well in their life's journey. So in short, as for me and my family, YES, children are welcome at the dining table!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:04AM
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Emily Hurley
@sbpratt You know what would be wonderful? Go over what they write by stitching some colored thread and make it permanent. Can you imagine after a few years? Fantastic.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:12AM
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I got some permanent fabric markers and hoping only washing once a year it would hold up. Wish I was talented enough to stitch it. :) it did give me an idea to get paint and have the kids each do a handprint turkey on the cloth too! Fun to watch their little hands grow.
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:27AM
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Some people add a small round table right next to to the end of the long, main rectangular table for guests. All the kids can sit around their own table, they have their own plates of food too, with their relatives or friends, the two adults at the end of the long family table, help out with serving them while being able to make conversation on their own table.

Their table is dressed up just as well with a round cotton table cloth, and they dress up for the event just as the adults do. It prepares them for outside social events.
    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:01AM
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Kim Graham
I remember the kids table differently: it too often was an opportunity for the older cousins to pick on one of the younger ones [more than once it was me!] without an adult intervening. In my house, we include the kids at the "big table" with the same cutlery and glasses as everyone else [including a small wine glass with sparkling fruit juice.] BUT, we always had "table gifts" used as placecards and opened between dinner and dessert...something silly like a dime store puzzle or colouring book and crayons. Anticipation of a gift kept the kids at the table behaving semi-politely. Most adults joined in with colouring or figuring out their puzzle [it usually turned into teams racing to get everyone's puzzle done!] with lots of laughter and fun while the table was cleared and dessert and coffee/hot chocolate were brought out.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:52AM
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To enlarge our table so that everyone could fellowship together, my Dad put a 4x 8 foot sheet of 3/4" plywood on top of the two "mid century modern" blonde wood card tables he had clamped together for our normal dining table. My Mom was a big canasta player (remember the movie Help) so the tables were un-clamped during the week for Canasta and later Bridge. He made special brackets to hold the sanded plywood sheet on the garage wall between holidays. We continued the tradition with our four children and 10 grandchildren and had brackets in the garage. A 120" long table cloth covers the plywood and the four foot width means loads of space for food. The wide overhang means no one has to straddle a table leg and with small chairs (folding chairs) you can get three people at each end and up to eight on each side to seat 22! Narrow dining room? Use a door instead of plywood. Be sure to protect your dining room table with a blanket or quilted cloth before putting the plywood or door on. Wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:15AM
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We used to celebrate Thanksgiving at my brother's house and he was an extremely reluctant host. We ate at the pool table with nothing on top but a tablecloth. Everyone's bird kept sliding off their plates and don't even mention the gravy. If you know anything about pool tables you know they are shorter than a dining table so our knees hit the bottom while we fought with our food :))
    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Growing up in a large extended family we had a kids table. As we grew older we kids couldn't wait until we could "graduate" to the adults table as it was a privilage; a right of passage. I, however, never really got to "graduate" as I was one of the youngest childern. Our family grew so big with all the new in-laws of all the cousins and siblings that we started to have buffets. My grandmother and mother believed that children should learn table manners, so we were expected to behave as our table as though we were adults. We had to go to the BIG table after grace was said to get our food. The best thing about that was we got served before the adults except for dessert. We still had to wait until everyone was done with dinner and the table cleared!!!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 12:42PM
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Nancy Hehmann
We do not have a kids table. What better way to learn table manners than to have them sit with everyone else. They have more fun and so do we. Life through a child's eyes is amazing and more exciting!
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 2:17PM
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We usually have the kids at the same table as the adults, or at least in the same room, but they are allowed to sit together as a group and converse ... allowing the adults to do the same.
    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 4:30PM
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We, as kids, were never allowed at the big table during holiday meals and looked forward to growing up enought to move to the big people table. Having been old enough now for the adult table for 35 years or so, I vote to have a 'really grown up, almost old, but not dead yet' table. Man, we could have some fun there--gumming our food and spilling our drinks--just like the kids table, lol!!!!
    Bookmark   November 24, 2012 at 10:13PM
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