Use bright and colorful plates and tablemats to set a cheery tone at the table. A white cotton twill card table slipcover provides a neutral backdrop and is washable in the event of spills. Heavy-duty plastic plates look like ceramic, but won't break if dropped.
Tuck artificial candy cane spheres into a glittered lime box. Use a foam ball to hold arrangement in place. Centerpieces that don't involve water or breakable pieces are ideal for a kids' table in case it is knocked over.
One of the keys to a charming kids' table is layering patterns and colors. Polka dots on the plates reference spheres in the centerpiece. The lime houndstooth pattern in the placemats coordinates with the glittered Chinese takeout-style box that holds the arrangement.
Kids want something to play with before and after (and maybe even during) the meal. Individual chalkboards encourage them to use their creativity. Paint craft store chalkboards using candy apple red acrylic paint and a 1" artist brush. Use painter's tape to protect the slate surface. Allow paint to dry and remove tape.
A gift tag tied around a candy cane becomes a place card as well as a treat for kids who eat all of their dinner. Write each child's name on a shipping tag with red permanent marker and layer over a large gift tag. Tie the tag onto a candy cane with ribbon and place on each slate next to a piece of chalk.