Manic: Restless kids at the big holiday table resulting in stressed parents, bored kids and chaos.
Managed: Brainstormed with the folks from Shamrock Farms and one of my gal pals about how to keep kids entertained at this holiday season’s big meal and we came up with some good stuff for parents everywhere.
It’s hard to believe that my teenagers are past this stage now, but I do remember those days! Recently, one of my gal pals with younger children asked me for tips to keeping kids entertained at the holiday table so that they are not disruptive. Here are a few tricks that I put to use with my son and daughter, as well as other clever ideas from my friend, Suzie. Take a look…
*Consider a Kids Table – I know some of you want your children to learn dinner table etiquette (and I agree with that), but having a separate and nearby kids table can work well. This way both the kiddos and the adults can converse with their own age groups about topics that all will find fun. Have their table set ahead of time with kid themed plates, holiday napkins and a drink that will make them cheer, like Shamrock Farms Chocolate Milk.
*Crafty Crafts for Festive Fun – Have a fun holiday craft ready for the children to do right after the meal. Kids typically finish eating first, while adults may want to linger and enjoy the holiday fare and company. Offering the kids pre-baked mini gingerbread cookies that they can frost and decorate to their hearts’ content gives them something fun to do while the grownups continue with dinner.
*Letters to Santa – Invite children to write a letter to Santa while they wait at the table before or after the meal. Give them fun decorations, stickers and washable markers to decorate their note. The letter will also make a great keepsake for the child’s scrapbook.
*Make Christmas Cups – Give the kids red or green Solo cups and materials to decorate the cup. This becomes their drinking glass during dinner and they will be proud to show off their creation. Fill the finished cups with fun and festive Shamrock Farms Santa’s Choice Calcium Plus milk for their own special occasion drink.
*Older Kids Read – Ask the older children to read a holiday story to the younger kids. And don’t forget to videotape to have this memorable record of the kids at different ages. It goes by so quickly!
*Sing Along – Let each child select their favorite holiday tune and ask everyone at the table to sing it together. This gets everyone in the holiday spirit and kids will love leading all in song.
*Holiday Eye Spy Game – Eye spy is a great game to keep kids engaged while also staying put. Ask them to look for holiday themed items in the room, such as a wreath, something red and white or something sweet.
*Holiday Share – Whisper in the child’s ear to ask everyone at the table to share what they like most about the holiday. Festive, fun and memorable.
What are your ideas for keeping kids happily busy and content at the holiday table? Share in the comments section because we like to share ideas and help each other out when it comes to taking the manic out of the holiday season to make it more managed and enjoyable for all!
This article was sponsored by Shamrock Farms. My opinion about how much I love Shamrock Farms foods are 100% my own.