Large holidays meals can be a wonderful way to enjoy a feast with family and friends. However, it’s a long time for young children to sit at the table. Here are 5 ideas to make long meals enjoyable for even the squirmiest kids:
1. Fun Drinks. Set out special colored glasses or cups, perhaps plastic would work well, and outfit them with crazy straws, umbrellas, fruit, and ice cubes with holiday gummies frozen inside. The kids will be delighted with the fun drinks.
2. Crayons. Place holiday colored crayons on the table with plain white napkins at the kids’ place settings. Ask the kids to draw their favorite holiday scene on their napkins for added decoration.
3. Trivia. Have a ready-made holiday trivia game made-up. This works especially well with older kids, but you can also ask very simple questions to include the little ones too.
4. Your Little Helpers. Include your kids in preparing one of the holiday dishes. Even little kids can help bake cookies. When you are ready to serve, engage the children in talking about how they made the dish and have them help serve it as well.
5. Charades. Children often have a hard time sitting still at the dinner table for long periods of time. If a long meal, have them take mini-breaks from the table. If you see your child fidgeting, ask them to get up and do a charade for the rest of the guests, i.e. a turkey for Thanksgiving or a reindeer for Christmas. After they are done, they can be seated again. This quickly breaks their monotony, but also will help keep them at the table.