How to Set a Table for Children

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    • 1). Place a plastic tablecloth over the kids' table to help create a theme and to prevent stains on cherished tablecloths.

    • 2). Provide crayons inside an empty mason or jelly jar, and give the children sheets of paper or coloring sheets to draw on.

    • 3). Tear off a large piece of craft paper to line the top of the table. The kids can draw and create pieces of art after their meal while the adults are lingering over coffee.

    • 4). Place unbreakable plastic or melamine dishes in the middle of each place setting or use colorful paper plates. Seasonal dishes, such as Christmas or Easter, are inexpensive and often made out of unbreakable materials.

    • 5). Set the table with plastic glassware. Place glasses on the right side above the dinner plate.

    • 6). Supply colorful theme-oriented paper napkins. Place them to the left side of the dinner plate on the other side of the fork. Kids, typically messy eaters, may stain favorite linen or cloth napkins during the meal.

    • 7). Make a theme-oriented napkin ring by using a hot glue gun to attach miniature toys, turkeys, Easter or birthday decor to an inexpensive, plain napkin ring. Roll up the napkins or fold them accordion-style before inserting them in the rings. Place them in the center of each plate or to the left of the fork.

    • 8). Place colorful plastic silverware on the table or use child-sized utensils with the fork to the left of the plate and spoons to the right. Select regular silverware that's light if you don't have child-sized versions; most children can use regular silverware quite well. Don't place knifes on the table -- even plastic ones -- as many young children are not capable of using them correctly.

    • 9). Add a simple place-card at each place setting with the child's name on it. (Include just a first initial if the children can't yet read.) Place it either in the center of the plate or above it. This makes each child feel big and prevents any arguments over who is sitting where.

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      Decorate the table with an unbreakable centerpiece, such as sitting teddy bear or a colorful Easter basket. Fill a clear plastic vase or shallow bowl with unbreakable plastic Christmas ornaments for a holiday party or miniature dolls, plastic cars and toys for a more whimsical look. Choose party whistles, favors or colorful, individually-wrapped hard candy for a birthday centerpiece.

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