Target Inner Circle Holiday Party 101: DIY decor for a happy kids’ table

at the kids' table
Note:  I’m a member of the Target Inner Circle and Target gave me a gift card to use for materials for this post. All opinions are my own.

It is the time of year for holiday gatherings and friends and family.  This year, the Target Inner Circle would like to invite you to our Holiday Party 101, where we’ve got you covered with ideas and tips for everything from the perfect party play list to eco friendly hostess gifts to kid-friendly party fun.

Today, I’m sharing with you some fun DIY decorating ideas for a happy kids’ table. 

Sure, the youngest members of the party might be relegated to a card table in the living room, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be merry and bright!

Holiday Party 101 the KidsTable

DIY decor for a happy kids’ table

To set the stage, we set the table with some pretty colorful plates (from our own every day dishes) and reusable RE cloth napkins.  The rainbow of happy colors has great kid appeal and the cloth napkins can pull double duty as bibs and, in a pinch, help clean up any bigger-than-a-paper-napkin spills that happen.


 In the true spirit of DIY decor, we told the kids they would be decorating their own kiddie table this year.  This gave the kids something to do while they waited for our meal (waiting takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r in kid time) and we wanted to help break the ice for anyone feeling shy by offering a favorite activity:  coloring!

We found this fun Spritz color-you-own tablecloth at Target in the party supply section.  Inexpensive (and ample, I ended up cutting it in half to size it for our card table, so we’ve got another half to use later in the holiday season), this was one of the kids’ favorite things.

If you can’t find a color-your-own tablecloth, you might consider covering your table in craft paper or cut open some paper grocery bags (some stores have some fun holiday designs this time of year that kids would love to color in) and flatten them ahead of time for a smooth drawing surface.

Color-you-own placemats (like these printables from SheKnows) are fun, too.


We added a centerpiece of crayons in a cute holiday-themed take out box (from the Dollar Spot section of Target) so that they could fancy up their kids’ table tablecloth.

I added some fun DIY family coloring pages (there was a code on our new crayons for Crayola Story Studio where we printed out pictures). I printed out images from the past year of family and friends and we were all set for some colorful, happy fun for the young and young at heart.

The cute penguin cups also came from the party supply section too and I love that kids got to personalize these. Stickers and crayons and family and friends = Fun!



Cookie Decorating

After dinner, it was time for dessert and we kept it interactive at the kids’ table with cookie decorating.  My kids went crazy for these ninja bread cookies (which we had baked and cooled ahead of time) and had a blast decorating.  We used a variety of decorations and icings, including those that came in our ninja bread kit (you can buy the individual cookie cutters here).



The Room Essentials cloth napkins doubled as aprons to protect our fancy holiday outfits.  We just used simple clothespins at each corner to keep them in place (a little tip from Grandma).



Looking for some more ideas for keeping the kids’ table merry and bright?  Contributor Amanda Morgan has a great post in the archives here on Simple Activities for Excited Kids (it is so hard to sit still and stay calm this time of year, isn’t it?) and this Printable Christmas I Spy game from The Pleasantest Thing is fun.

Or you can just decorate another cookie, right Lucy?


The party isn’t over!  We are just getting started!  There’s a Holiday Party 101 Pinterest board you can follow and we’ve got more Target Inner Circle Holiday Party 101 fun in store for you:


What are some of your favorite DIY decorating tips for a happy kids’ table? Would you consider turning the kids loose and letting their decorate the kiddie table on their own? How do you keep things practical but fun for the little ones at your holiday meals?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. I have such fond memories of sitting at the kids’ table with my cousins. It was the best place to be – away from the bossy grown ups! You’re ideas here would make it even more fun. I love the color your own table cloth and the coloring of the photo printouts is genius. I wish I had a kids’ table to plan for, i would totally do these ideas, Kara.
    Robin from Frugal Family Times´s latest post: It’s not too late! Countdown to Christmas with Family Advent Activities

  2. When I ran a daycare I use to cover the lunch table with paper for coloring all the time. I always purchased newsprint roll ends from our local newspaper office. It was inexpensive and lasted a long time. Christmas stamps are a fun edition if you table wrapping is blank. That way they can stamp it and then color it. Of course this works well with older children, as stamping gets messy with little ones.
    Victoria´s latest post: All I Want For Christmas Is An Organized Home: The Dining Room


  1. Plate Blog says:

    This Fun And Colorful Set…

    […]   The rainbow of happy colors has great kid appeal and the cloth napkins can pul […]…

  2. […] that really rock. Kara from Simple Kids helps you set the scene for their activities with colorful kids’ decorating ideas.  And if kids aren’t joining the party, Katie from Practical Parenting shares […]

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