6 Easy Ways to Keep the Kids Entertained During Holiday Dinners

6 Easy Ways to Keep the Kids Entertained During Holiday Dinners

If you want to have the most lovely holiday dinner this season, check out these 6 easy ways to keep kids entertained during holiday dinners!

Holiday dinners are a wonderful way to spend time together as a family. But often these get-togethers are made up of extended family or friends, which means dinner time may last a little bit longer than usual.

On top of the added time at the table, your kids will be expected to sit still before, during and after the meal and use their manners as they sit. That’s a lot to ask! Make sure your kids are well behaved this year with these six easy ways to keep the kids entertained during holiday dinners.

keep the kids entertained during holiday dinners

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Set a Kid’s Table

One of the best ways to keep the kids corralled during a holiday meal is to put them all together at a separate kid’s table. This will help keep the mess and inevitable rowdiness contained to one area, allowing the adults to enjoy their meal separately. At the kid’s table, the children can talk and entertain each other during and after dinner time.

If you have younger kids, consider asking a teen or older kid to sit at the children’s table during the holiday dinner. In addition to making the kid’s table a little bit cooler, the older child can help keep the little ones entertained and mess-free throughout the meal.

little girl eating corn 

Tabletop Activities

This holiday season, make sure your kids are entertained during a meal is by providing them with entertaining activities at the table. While toys, games, and electronics may not be a good choice during a meal, there are a variety of tabletop activities that are sure to keep the kids entertained. Coloring is always a good choice for little ones during dinner time. Whether you offer them a coloring placemat, seasonal coloring pages, or just a blank canvas in the form of a paper tablecloth, laying out a bunch of crayons in front of the kids is a surefire way to keep them entertained.

And if you have older kids who need a little bit of entertainment at the table, offer word search puzzles, crossword puzzles, and holiday mad libs. These fun mind games are sure to keep them occupied while the adults eat and converse at the dinner table.

Enlist Their Help

Kids are natural born helpers, which means they’d be great at lending a hand during holiday dinners. And if your kids have a job before, during, and after dinner they’re more likely to stay engaged and entertained throughout the meal. There are a variety of jobs you could ask your kids to help with, including:

  • Setting and/or clearing the table
  • Filling glasses with ice
  • Passing out silverware
  • Putting serving spoons and forks in the dishes
  • Running items from the kitchen to the dining room
  • Fetching things adults need while they’re eating (salt shaker, an extra napkin, etc.)
  • Doing dishes after the meal

conversation starters for your thanksgiving

Include Them in the Conversation

Often, the adults at dinner get caught up in adult conversations, leaving the kids at the table bored and restless. Make sure the kids are engaged at dinner by including them in the conversation. If you think your dinner conversation may begin to stray, consider outlining some conversation starters that will allow the entire dinner table to chime in, no matter their age.

In addition to giving the kids at the table a chance to be part of the dinnertime festivities, including your kids in the conversation during the holidays will help you and your family get to know them a little bit better.

Related: Family Friendly Conversation Starters!

Related: More Conversation Starters.. for Thanksgiving!

After Dinner Crafts

If your family likes to gather around the dinner table and enjoy each other’s company long after the meal is over, your kids will quickly get antsy with nothing to do. Make sure the kids at the dinner are occupied by providing a craft or activity for them to take part in after dinner is over.

If you use a separate kid’s table, clear the plates and food off the table and provide the little ones with craft supplies to create a cute keepsake, like a Christmas ornament or New Year’s Eve party hat. When they’re finished putting their craft together, they’ll have something to take home with them at the end of the day.


family friendly conversation starters

Resort to Bribery

If all else fails, a little bit of bribery can go a long way with kids. Entice your kids to sit still and use their manners throughout dinner. Offer them something they want when dinner is over. Whether it’s a little bit of extra screen time, a fun little toy, or an extra dessert, a small bribe can be a very effective method of keeping your kid entertained throughout the dinner.

Make sure your kids know exactly what they’ll be getting if they’re good and put it out in plain sight to remind them of the prize at the end of the tunnel.

family friendly conversation starters

Christmas Traditions Your Family Will Cherish

Christmas traditions are some of the most powerful bonding opportunities for your family. I know the memories I made as a kid at Christmas-time are a strong anchor for me as an adult. 

There are so many ideas though. It’s hard to keep track, isn’t it? Well, these Christmas family traditions are fantastic. Hope you like these ideas!


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