While you're waiting for the meal to cook, guests can decorate their own keepsake place mats using fabric markers.
Write each child's name on a place mat and decorate the border using a variety of stencil themes, such as food, animals, stars, or the alphabet.
Set an inexpensive white or light-colored fabric place mat at each child's place and let the kids draw whatever they'd like -- a sunny scene, a house, animals, or a steaming plate of lasagna.
To preserve their masterpieces, iron the place mats to set the colors according to package directions. While the markers are out, invite each guest to sign his or her name on a child-size apron for the host.