Ezra was making a habit of banging and denting the table top with anything in his hand at random times. And coloring on it. And scratching it. That's what made me first want a table cover. But most laminated tablecloths are not so attractive and I'm not a fan of the clear ones. That's when my friend, Paula, told me about the oil cloth table covers she makes with elastic around the edges so that they stay put. Brilliant! (She also sells traditional style tablecloths in oilcloth). Only my table isn't the type that the elastic would hold it on, so I worked with her to modify the design some, and it works beautifully! I sewed the corners together for a snug fit and sewed in some ties to tie it under the table around the legs. The kids can't rip it off, they can color and eat and spill and bang and the table top is protected. I'm really loving it. If you ask, she'll make one like this for you too.
(See the tie below, on the right side)
You can check out Paula's other great offerings in her Etsy shop. She has really great fabric options. I also got one of her wasties, which are fabulous little reversible waste baskets for car, craft room, or just about anywhere. They stand alone or hang from a (removable) included command hook (or snap loop option too) any where you need.
And tons of cute options for ironing board covers. They've made my ironing much more enjoyable, believe it or not. It's just less dreadful when you have something fun to look at instead of a plain blue cover.