Home & Garden

10 ways to set a fun-packed party picnic table for kids

By: Canadian Living
Canadian Living
Home & Garden

10 ways to set a fun-packed party picnic table for kids

By: Canadian Living
The perfect party picnic table for kids Summer is almost here! If you're planning lots of family gatherings and kids' birthday parties, consider celebrating outdoors. Whether you're at home or at the cottage, dining al fresco with the kids can be a whole lot of fun, until they get restless. Keep the kids at the table with these simple and inexpensive ideas designed to entertain and make family dining with kids an enjoyable affair. The best part? There are even tips for making cleanup a breeze! [caption id="attachment_1976" align="aligncenter" width="520"] Jazz up an everyday picnic table with colourful accessories purchased at discount stores. Styled by Karen Kirk. Photo by Edward Pond Photography. As seen in the August 2010 issue of Canadian Living.[/caption]   Turn an everyday picnic table into a hub of activity at your kids' next garden party [caption id="attachment_1979" align="aligncenter" width="333"] Start with a  Home Depot cedar picnic table, 6 feet by 5 feet, $369.[/caption]   Set a colourful table jam-packed with fun activities and treats 1. Set the stage with a creative table runner. Kraft paper is always a good idea for a kids' table, but I love using a wallpaper called "Frames" from Graham and Brown that I purchased at Home Depot. It really brings out the artist in everyone. Kids can sketch, decorate or add favourite photos inside the hand-drawn frames. Save the runner to hang up in a bedroom or playroom as a memento of the special occasion. [caption id="attachment_1981" align="aligncenter" width="339"] Graham and Brown "Frames" wallpaper, $45 per roll at Home Depot.[/caption]   2. Keep tablecloths from sailing away on a summer's breeze with colourful plastic clamps from the discount store. 3. A rolling metal plant tray from Ikea makes it easy to pass art supplies around the table. Fill tins with crayons and coloured markers, and provide glue sticks, photos and stickers to encourage plenty of fun and creativity. 4. Decor that’s really a healthy dessert? Use a cookie cutter to cut out flower shapes from a pineapple and a melon. Skewer the fruit and poke it into a block of florist’s foam in a planter box for a tasty centrepiece. 5. Set bright-colour recyclable and reusable dinnerware and cutlery on inexpensive melamine trays found at the discount store to keeps things tidy and make cleanup easy. Add a trash bucket with a lid at the end of the table to keep away bugs and for convenient trash disposal. [caption id="attachment_1980" align="aligncenter" width="314"] Cheap and cheerful patterned melamine trays and plastic cutlery add fun and function to the party table. Photo by Karen Kirk.[/caption]   6. Instead of place cards, tie a coloured key tag (from an office supply store) with twine around each person’s cutlery set and then add names. 7. Washable tea towels from Ikea make great oversize napkins for messy barbecue meals. 8. An easy to use self-serve acrylic beverage dispenser with an ice compartment will save the kids from running back and forth to the fridge for drinks. Or put pop in a basket or bucket filled with ice. [caption id="attachment_1983" align="aligncenter" width="294"] Check out HomeSense for a fun variety of beverage buckets like this wicker basket with a metal liner.[/caption]   9. Soft fleece blankets or colourful beach towels make wooden bench seats a bit more comfy for kids and will come in handy on cool nights. [caption id="attachment_1982" align="aligncenter" width="344"] Plush beach towels from HomeSense make wooden benches comfy for small bottoms.[/caption]   10. Give each kid a discount-store folding fan to shoo away skidders and flies, and to help keep them cool on sweltering summer days and nights. Happy summer! Follow me on Twitter: @KKMe123
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10 ways to set a fun-packed party picnic table for kids

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