Do you have a "Kids Table" at family celebrations?
Emily Hurley
November 14, 2013
When your entire family or extended group gets together for large celebratory dinners, is there a "Kids Table" for the youngsters or do they sit with all the adults?

Vote and share your experience in the comments! (Photos encouraged)
Kids Table
One Big Table
Other - Tell us!
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Emily Hurley
We have a kids table, but the kids actually prefer it. They get to be a little goofier, a little sillier, and a little faster with their dinner and then go do other fun things while the grownups linger a bit.
7 Likes    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 2:23PM
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PRO
Barnhart Gallery
Yes, and it's a miniature version of the big table, complete with matching mahogany ball and claw Chippendale chairs. :)
(The child-size versions of my DR chairs were a serendipitous find!)
4 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 14, 2013 at 3:40PM
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happyasaclam
Good Grief, YES we have a kids table!
5 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 14, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Kari D
Let me tell you, there are plenty of adults in my family that belong at the kids table! We have a table for the youngsters and a "kids" table for the teenagers and young adults. The young adults table is where some of the older relatives sit because that's where the most fun is, and maybe it makes them feel youthful too. I'll be thirty next year, and I'm clinging to the young adults table while my daughter is still at the youngster table.
6 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 14, 2013 at 6:01PM
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rredpenn
Our family is large, and we generally potluck at gatherings. The phrase "first come, first served" is usually the rule--meaning that whoever is eating just finds a place to do so with whoever else is eating. It may be at the table, or counter, or living room, etc. Sometimes, the dining room table turns over more than twice. It's always a party atmosphere, and never formal. The kids eat with each other usually though. We used to "feed the kids first!" to get them happy and on to playing elsewhere. Now, they are civilized enough to mix in with the grownups!
6 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 15, 2013 at 4:39AM
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chookchook2
Full marks to Barnhart gallery for spelling serendipitous! It depends where we end up each year.
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 15, 2013 at 4:50AM
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Mark
My Mother always had a separate table for young children. When I was a child I thought it was great fun to sit with other children at our own table.
3 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 15, 2013 at 5:07AM
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Emily Hurley
I loved the kids table. I would have happily stayed there forever. :)
7 Likes    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 9:36AM
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novicenoodler
I think it depended on the event. If there were a ton of kids and the dining room was too small, we would be given a children's table nearby. But the kid's table is only fun if the other children are around the same age get along well. Otherwise it's a nightmare! If there are only a few children, they would sit at the table with the adults.
1 Like    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 15, 2013 at 9:40AM
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A Nardello
I chose other, but I actually do both. I try to include the kids as much as possible, because I don't want them to feel left out, but a lot of times, there's not enough space!
2 Likes    Bookmark   Thanked by Emily Hurley    November 15, 2013 at 3:30PM
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tseymour
We join a kids' table to the adults' table. (one very long table!!!) Kids have a ball and the adults get to join in on the fun :-)
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 1:52AM
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nelsonke
When I was young, the children were interspersed amongst the adults. I loved listening to the adult conversation and was often included by my fantastic aunts and uncles. Being subjected to a children's table would have seemed like punishment to me. To each his / her own.
5 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 6:56AM
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ssgtkitty
Our dining room table seats 10 to 12, when we have 20, incl. kids, they had their own table in another room that was decorated for them. One mother refused to have her
    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 7:24AM
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ssgtkitty
Sorry , comp froze! Mother refused to have her son eat at kids table. She is no longer part of our celebrations.
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 7:25AM
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sunflower52
I grew up taking part at the kids' tables and we still have kids' tables for our big celebrations. I remember we couldn't wait to get to our tables because my grandmother always elaborately decorated the kids' tables and my mother carried through that tradition with my own children. We always put the tables close to the big one so they were still a part of the celebration. As our older relatives went home to be with the Lord, the older children began taking their places at the big table. I wish we all could have a table big enough to seat everyone, but that was not the case so we made due with kid's tables. I still do and they still love it!
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 9:22AM
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glebefarm
If all the kids are very young and same age fine to have a kids table but we went to an aunts for christmas once, as the eldest 'child' aged 12 I was put with the kids, felt humilited, left out and hated it. Never forgotten it!
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 9:32AM
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arteshouse
My family eats together, three generations at the same table. The kids learned how to have conversations at the table. Today, they are well mannered and considerate young adults.
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Dea
Kids' tables are sort of a tradition in our family. They're card tables, actually. Remnants of a more gracious past, when the ladies of the house used to have small tea and bridge parties. And since card tables are lower, which puts the chairs closer to the tabletops, the little kids can sit in the "big" chairs without a booster seat (or a dictionary) to sit on. Right now, our family is in that in-between stage, where just about everyone qualifies agewise for the grownups' table. The youngest grandchildren are in their late teens. So now the so-called grownups fight to get to sit at the kids' tables, because they're usually in the rooms off the dining room (in the living room, den, front hall, etc.) and the occupants don't have to jump up when someone on the far side of the dining table needs to go back for seconds.
    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 9:56AM
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chickb
@nelsonke, I feel your pain!! I had the same treatment at family gatherings... Nowdays, as a Nana, my grandbabies currently have their own "fun" table where they have choices of cute stools, various silverware choices, tablecloth, etc. They are always welcome to join us at the "big" table and likely will as they get older. Since I don't have a lot of space for storing their separate table, I have been using a multipurpose unit. By meal, it is the kids' table on wheels. The rest of the time, it is a family room end table or "TV tray" table and even the kids' craft/play table. The wheels certainly make it multifunctional. :-)
1 Like    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 10:13AM
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chickb
Actually, my agreement was with glebefarm comment...sorry! Yes, being forced to sit with the "kids" made for a miserable meal and visit. Ugh!
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 10:17AM
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Diana Long
If you have four or more children, maybe. But holidays are for celebration and children should learn the values of their families, here is the perfect place!
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 10:17AM
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lessismoore
The last time I had a "full house" I had 3 tables set up in the same room - looked a bit like entering a restaurant ...
As a kid, I was occasionally banished to the kid's table at my Aunt's parents when we ate there. My cousins (all younger, but not by much) had vile table manners. Seeing them "play" with their food would ruin the meal for me. Ugh. So for me, it depends on the children. If you can eat nicely, not dominate the conversation, and not irritate your parents - you can sit with the adults - if not, welcome to the kitchen!
I'm not hosting this year, but if I were -- I'd have one table for people with cell phones and another table for people without. LOL
4 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Kari D
I commented on how my family likes to do 3 different tables, but my husband's family is too big to sit at just one, two, or three. His grandparents had 11 kids, and all of them have kids, too. My husband is one of eight, plus his nieces and nephews. It's a good thing his grandparents run a bed and breakfast and are use to so much company because they could be hosting for more than 50 people at any given holiday. So in this case the seats are pretty much first come first serve. Ages mix and mingle at different tables.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 11:58AM
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Bridget
Growing up we always had holiday dinners together, there was five kids. If we ever had company, we all sat at the dinning room table.

When I was 14 we move from a small town is Pennsylvania to New Jersey. My older sister 16, young brother 12 and I were heart broken to have to move. From where we had lived our whole lives to new schools and no friends was very hard for us. From knowing almost everyone. From an area where the high school had state champions in football, the school band was large and once was, the half time show for one of the bowl games, (my sister was in the band) to a new high school not knowing anyone, speaking with an accent, not dressing the same, no football stadium, the band didn't even have uniforms, was a nightmare. Going from what we thought would be the best time of our lives to this new school was the worst thing that could happen to a teenager.

Our first Thanksgiving, my cousin and his wife invited our family to dinner. When we got to my cousins house, we were the "only children" at the dinner, were banned to the kitchen. My oldest brother was in the service and my other brother was at collage. Our first holiday that the whole family was not together. My father could not believe this. He even made a remark that there was plenty of room at the table. At our house we would sit together, a joyous occasion, we could always squeeze one more in, didn't matter how many. That evening, after dinner and driving home my father, who never said much, put his foot down and said from now on we would have holiday meals at home. Even after we were out on our own, we came together for holiday meals and everyone sat at the dinner table.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 1:51PM
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matthewe
I call the "kids" table the "cousins'" table. It carries a different connotation of being inclusive rather than exclusive.
4 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 2:29PM
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missrei
We enjoy both...the Italian side gathers one and all to one table, and the melting pot American side usually does kids' tables. I like my kids having the chance to sit, enjoy food, conversation and company with adults for longer periods of time, especially if we are honoring birthdays or anniversaries. I also like my kids having the chance to have their own table, where it's fun, special, and they have a chance for a bit of responsibility (clean up, etc.) if the host feels like it. I don't think they've ever been subject to feeling as though they've been banished.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 5:59PM
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clarkslakey
I was five years older than my next youngest cousin and always had to sit at the kids table. I hated it and vowed never to have a kids table for my kids. By placing them with the adults, I think they learn manners and now can behave just fine at an adults table. Often they are running around with the other kids before dinner, so it's nice to intersperse them between the adults and let them join in the conversation. That can be a challenge because they either say very little or they try to dominate the conversation, but over the years, I think they are getting better and their conversational skills are improving. Anyway, I've been happy not to have had to resort to a kids table and instead have the whole family celebrate together. To me, celebrating together is what the holidays are all about.
5 Likes    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 7:54PM
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lydialou22
I put "kids' table"' I guess because that is my plan for Thanksgiving. We will have 7 adults and the 3 grandchildren aged 3,5 & 7. They are all boys and love to be together. Besides the table only seats 8.
When we have my husband's whole family there are sometimes up to 50 people. We have 2 dining tables plus the kitchen table, 2-3 card tables, and TV tables! People sit wherever there is room!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 10:08PM
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amanda_zeller
We generally have a large gathering, this year I am tentatively counting 42 with 10 of them being kids. So it looks like I'll be setting up tables in three consecutive rooms to accomodate the whole family. I'm very close to my family and as a kid I remember that we enjoyed having our own kids table as we felt like we had a place to call our own. I know that this generation of kids are all very close as well and enjoy having their own space. I do make it a point to keep everyone in consecutive rooms so that there is at least a sense of being connected even though I can't fit all of us in one room!
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 11:00AM
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Genevieve
If I had a lot of kids over then I would have one ,otherwise no .
1 Like    Bookmark   November 18, 2013 at 11:03AM
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J Petempich
Yes, it is a tradition. The cousins are very close now even the young ones with the old ones. We placed Grandma at the kids table one year and she loved it. The cousins are adults now and at weddings they still prefer to sit together at their own table. They see their parents often and their cousins are special. They have found the younger ones internships shared apartments and have their own network. Who knows their close relationship may have begun at the children's table.
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 6:49AM
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PirateFoxy
I said other because it depends on the people involved. If the kids would enjoy it, then yes. But I always liked talking with adults when I was younger so often everyone is all mixed in together.

The one thing I do in recognition of the fact that kids have a different attention span to adults and that most of my guests are prone to sitting around the table talking for hours is even if the kids are sitting mixed in, I make sure there is an area for them to retreat to after the meal if they get bored with the conversation. Usually somewhere near the table, so they don't feel excluded, but where they can read or play quietly.

(Often there is a large gap between finishing the main and serving dessert, due to the talking issue. So that is usually when the kids are excused if they want to be. Then they come back for dessert. Sometimes adults will migrate to the play area too if they find the table conversation boring, so it works nicely.)
2 Likes    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 7:48AM
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momof5x
Right now we have one big table that fits 8 people but now have one for 10 as family getting bigger. We always have family meals together especially lunch and supper. Extended family members also join when here. Plus we have an high chair too for toddler if need be.
    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 12:24AM
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