Holidays are supposed to be extra special for everyone, but sometimes the kiddos get stuck at a small table without any festivities. I know in my house that a mini version of a real table setting excites the little ones and makes them feel included in the party! It also allows children to learn basic things like how to set the table on their own, and helps teach them to take pride in serving their friends at a party by themselves.

Here are some ideas for sprucing up the “kid table” if you’re hosting a little party:

< 1. Create Place Cards. I always think it’s fun to include my kids in the hosting process. One idea is to outline names in a black pen, then have your little one color it in and brighten the place setting for her friends. For these, I just cut an index card in half (or any paper you have on hand will do), wrote the name, and tied a little colored string around a few times to add brightness. As the kids get older, it may also relieve some disagreements about who is sitting next to whom.

2. Include Activities in the Decor. It’s tough for small children to sit through a full meal as the adults chat. It helps keep kids sitting to have some non-toxic colored pencils and notebooks (I made ours by folding three index cards, punching holes, and tying a ribbon), or some toy animals for imaginary play to pass the time while waiting for the food to arrive.

3. Use Cloth Napkins. It seems that it would be more work to wash cloth napkins, but it actually is easier AND more eco-friendly. We use cocktail-sized for kids, and they soak up spills so much more effectively than paper napkins. (Napkins pictured: Rufflewood)

4. Use Small Teacups for Beverages. Spills are so common with kid parties, so I always just fill tiny teacups with water for the little ones, or use BPA-free sippy cups for toddlers (if you have time, try creating your own mason jar sippy cups). You may have to refill a few times, but it’ll save the table setting if a drink does take a tumble.

5. Don’t Forget a Tablecloth. It’s the fanciest part of the party and makes the kids feel like they’re sitting at a special meal to have a tablecloth. White works great because there are great products (like Honest Oxy Boost) to clear stains right off white fabrics!

If you’d like to create a festive and fun little kid table for yourself, here are some favorite eco-friendly serving pieces for you:

< 1. Six-Inch Round Plate. 2. Sippy Cups. 3. Homemade Name Cards. 4. Utensils. 5. Wooden Tea Set.

~ Kate Brightbill of Style Smaller