Dinner Time Fun For Less Than a Dime

We’re always looking for new ways to bribe our kids to eat their veggies at dinner time. Preferably one that doesn’t involve dessert treats and doesn’t cost a fortune. We think we found it. This is a simple idea to add an element of fun to dinner or snack time or lunch or breakfast. Seriously, just keep it on the table.
dinner time fun for less than a dime FB copy

All you need is a sheet of newsprint. We have an entire roll. It’s the best craft/child investment you can make. We buy ours from Plastilon:

If you don’t have newsprint an A3 sheet will also work as a placemat. You might need to use a smaller plate though. The rabbit or the elephant will work well if you turn the page portrait instead of landscape.

You need:


Black marker

Dinner plates


  1. The idea is to use the newsprint like a tablecloth, so cut a sheet that is long enough.
  2. Put the newsprint over the table.
  3. Put a plate in front of each seat.
  4. Trace the shape of the plate with a marker.
  5. Draw the animals.
  6. Put the plates back and set the table.

Some of the bigger animals like the elephant need more space. We drew the elephant at the head of the table so that there would be space to draw the trunk and tusks. This part hangs down the side.

dinner time elephant setting with plate dinner time elephant table setting

The idea is that once they have eaten their dinner, they can see their picture. Of course, there is a lot of guessing of who got what.

dinner time bunny setting with platedinner time bunny table setting

dinner time mouse setting with plate dinner time mouse setting dinner time cat setting with plate dinner time fun for less than a dime dinner time flower setting with plate flower settingAfter dinner, we brought out the crayons and everyone got to colour their pictures. We added landscapes and made a huge picture out of our tablecloth.

The best part of this dinner setting is that you crumple it up and throw it in the bin once you are done. No laundry. No cleaning up. Just be sure to ask your young artist if they are done with their picture. Childhood trauma not included.

dinner time kids fun



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