These Creative Ways to Set the Kids' Table at Thanksgiving Are Simply Adorable

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Kids table with folded paper boats, thanksgiving decorations, disposable dishware

This Thanksgiving, set a tablescape for the little ones that's festive and full of interactive fun. You can still keep it chic by honing in on a specific color palette that coordinates with the main table while also infusing seasonal touches that spark the interests of your youngest guests.

The food may be the star of Turkey Day (not to mention this edible table runner), but we guarantee this adorable kids' table will have everyone gobbling up the charm. Below, our step-by-step guide on how to set the scene.

Kids table with paper decor and wood stools

Things You'll Need

Kids table with paper tablecloth, disposable dishware, and paper decorations

Make a Gilded Leaf Garland

A gilded leaf garland that shimmers and sparkles overhead brings in the beauty of the season.

First, download and print our free Thanksgiving Kids' Table template and cut out the leaf shapes. Trace six of each leaf shape onto recycled paper bags and then cut them out.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Paint the leaves with a variety of metallic paint colors (we used gold, copper, and bronze). Allow the paint to dry and then crease each leaf down the middle to add dimension.

Painted gold paper leaves with paint brush and paint tube

Cut a 5-foot-long strand of twine and clip the leaves to it with mini clothespins, spacing each leaf about two inches apart.

Thanksgiving garland with wood clothespins and paper leaves

Make Turkeys Out of Acorns

Watch their eyes light up with delight when they encounter turkeys fashioned from acorns, which double as decor and party favors.

Cut out the turkey shapes from the Thanksgiving Kids' Table template and trace the feather shape onto various colors of cardstock or paper (we used rust, indigo, blush, and tan). You'll need to trace and cut out five feathers for each turkey.

Cut paper of varying colors with acorns and gold scissors

Hot glue five feathers together, overlapping them slightly in a "fanned" shape.

Cut paper of varying colors

Use a white paint pen to draw two eyes on each acorn. Let the paint dry, and then color in two pupils with a black marker.

Acorns made into turkeys for decorations with pens

Trace and cut out a beak and wattle shape for each turkey on either cardstock or paper, and glue them in place on the acorns. Then glue the turkey acorns to the feathers.

Thanksgiving decoration with multi colored papers and painted acorn

Make Place Cards in the Shape of the Mayflower

Origami Mayflower place cards offer a historical connection to the holiday and can be filled with snacks to tide them over until dinner.

First, fold a piece of paper or cardstock in half from top to bottom.

Fold the paper in half again, this time from side to side, to create a crease line down the center, and then unfold.

Fold both top corners down toward the middle so they line up with the center crease line.

Fold up the bottom flap on each side.

Put both thumbs inside the middle and pull the sides out to flatten the paper into a square shape. Tuck one corner flap under the other.

Fold the bottom point on each side up to meet the top point.

Put both thumbs in the middle again and pull outward to make a square.

Pull the corners down and outward to open up the boat shape.

Cut out the sail and flag shapes from the Thanksgiving Kids' Table template (we just used white printer paper) and punch a hole on the top and bottom of each sail. Feed a bamboo skewer through the holes, fold a flag in half above the sail, and glue it in place on the skewer.

Folded brown paper boat with sail made from paper and a toothpick

Glue the skewer in the center of each boat and write a guest's name on each sail.

Kids dining table with folded paper boat decorations and disposable dishware

Bring All the Elements Together

Kraft paper makes the ultimate low-maintenance tablecloth against spills, and when paired with twig colored pencils provides ample opportunity for youngsters to draw and doodle while the grownups enjoy a distraction-free meal.

Cut a long piece of kraft paper and place it on the table to act as a tablecloth upon which kids can draw. Set the plates, cups, and utensils on top. Drape a napkin underneath each plate, and place a straw inside each cup.

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse

Hang the leaf garland above the table with tape.

Leaf garland with kids dining table with paper table cloth and disposable dishware

Place an acorn turkey above each plate.

Dining table with paper tablecloth, wood utensils and paper-acorn turkey decor

Set a Mayflower place card on top of each plate, and fill each boat with light snacks like popcorn, pretzels, or trail mix.

Kids dining table with Thanksgiving decorations and disposable dishware

Lastly, put the twig colored pencils inside a jar or glass and set it in the middle of the table.

Kids table with folded paper boats, thanksgiving decorations, disposable dishware

And now you have a swoon-worthy table at which any kid (or adult) would be thankful to dine!

Image Credit: Trisha Sprouse
Kids table with folded boat decorations and disposable dishware

Trisha is a writer, video producer + maker with a knack for creating modern DIY content. When her hands aren't covered in paint, she's most likely holding a camera or power drill or both.

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