Whether you actually have a special table for your children at Thanksgiving or if you all sit mixed together these ideas will help keep fidgety kids at the table a little longer.
1. Skip the table cloth and use craft paper instead. Give each child a sheet of Thanksgiving themed stickers, some washable markers or crayons and let them decorate their or even their neighbors spot.
2. If you are even more ambitious you can turn your table into a coloring book! Use stencils ( or thanksgiving cookie cutters) or your own creativity to draw scenes from the first thanksgiving or some of the things we are all thankful for and have your young guests color them in.
3. Turn them into wait staff. I am not suggesting you ignore child labor laws, but for kids like my son who adore good pretend play enlist their help for running to the kitchen for things, refilling water glasses and passing out the rolls. I would suggest even forgetting a few things on purpose so they can come to the rescue.
4. Have a game of eye spy ready at their spot with a crayon to check off the items as they find them. Make some easy so they can get involved in the game quickly but make some of the others much harder to keep them engaged during the meal. Use items like things in your wall art, figurines on grandma's shelf or even jewelry you know you will be wearing for the tricky ones and things like wall color, plates and food items for the simple ones.
5. Have everyone write things they are thankful for and have your helpers read them once they are done with their meal. Of course you can always pad the jar with lots and lots of things you are thankful for and for your really antsy ones make a deal that they can read and announce only one every 2 or 5 minutes to stretch it out.
If all else fails threaten no pie .