Traditionally, the family gathers  and the kids sit at one table and the adults at another. Banishment to the kids’ table  can be something to be excited  about with a little prior planning. And if your family all fits around the table together, you’ll have a few tricks at  your fingertips to help smooth  out the dinner and set a fabulous table.

Keep the kids busy. A few little things at their place set-tings will keep them occupied after dinner is over. A few nicely packaged pieces of paper and some crayons are perfect or something to play with, like a Thanksgiving themed finger puppet. If your table is kids-only, use brown craft paper for the tablecloth so the children can draw wherever they want.

Give Thanksgiving a touch of handmade. You don’t have to be a craft-guru to put something special on the Thanks-giving table. In the days ahead of Turkey Day, cut 18 inch square pieces of muslin and stencil on a few leaves with acrylic paint. If you’re feeling adventurous, fray the edges by pulling a few threads around the edges free.

Make Thanksgiving personal. This is as simple as writing a name on a piece of paper. Children love to see their names and really love place cards at parties and events. Sometimes grown-ups think it’s pretty neat, too.

Be thankful. The holiday is about being thankful for what we have. Create a “Thankful Tree” to make it easier to talk about what your family is thankful for. Place a few small tree branches in a vase and cut out paper leaves. On the leaves, write the things you are thankful for and hang them on the branches to fill out the tree. Use the tree as a memorable centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table.