Why do so many apartments include carpeted dining areas?! Personally I think carpet + kids eating = disaster! I'm already not a big fan of carpet at all (hello, germs and allergies!) but under the kitchen table? With children eating??!
Our new place, like all the others we looked at, has carpet in the dining area. Yehoshua (4) is a neat and careful eater, so we've allowed him to eat at the kitchen table. Eliyahu (2) is a little messier and so we moved him back into the high chair and set it in the kitchen (which, thankfully, has linoleum!).
But, Ruth is ready for the high chair now. I'm tired of eating one-handed; after all, she's almost 1! And what about when we have families over who have small children?
We're planning to get this child-size picnic table and set it up in the kitchen. From the measurements, it looks like that would take up most of the kitchen floorspace, so it would be something we got out for each meal, and put away (or took into the living room?) afterward. It would seat several children, though, and I wouldn't have to worry every time Yehoshua had a glass of milk, or a bowl of soup. I also liked the idea of a picnic table since it could be used outside in the distant future when we someday have a small yard. :) (We had a borrowed one in Ohio in our yard.)
Other ideas were to get a large piece of plastic and put it under the kitchen table, but we haven't come across any very affordable large pieces of plastic yet.
Surely some of you are also in the situation of children + carpeted dining room. What's your solution? I'd love to hear!! :)