While inviting kids to the ceremony or reception definitely adds more opportunities for hilarious scene-stealing moments, keeping younger children entertained long enough to sit quietly through a ceremony can be a challenge.
For couples adding kids to the guest list, preparing ahead of time is ideal to make sure children stay engaged, entertained, and happy. While no one can completely assure a tantrum-free event, couples can provide opportunities and activities that ensure a kid-friendly event.
Looking for kid-spirational activities for your wedding and reception? Here are a few crafty ideas to keep little ones busy and free from boredom and mischievous mayhem:
Many churches refer to these bags as ‘Joseph Bags.’ You can use handmade fabric bags in wedding colors (if you’re feeling fancy) or just simple plastic bags. Fill them with a variety of fun toys and activities. Coloring books and crayons (not markers…too messy), small toys, fun pads (with mazes and crossword puzzles), a small container of bubbles (for blowing at the couple as they exit), a deck of cards, and maybe even a small snack (check with parents about allergies) and bottled water. Have a guest book attendant or other friend present bags to the kids before the ceremony.
A Room to Retreat.
Designate a room near the church or at the reception for kids and their parents to retreat if they are overwhelmed or fussy. Offer small games, books, toys, or a craft. You can also include a basket of snacks and waters for kids who just need a little refreshment. Make sure parents know where the room will be located, in case kiddos need a break.
Make sure the DJ or band has some kid-friendly beats on rotation to keep kids engaged. No, we’re not talking toddler tunes, just fun upbeat (and swear-free) dance music. You can also incorporate fun group dances like the ChaCha Slide, the Hokey Pokey, the Duck Dance, and others.
Kids love wedding cake! But you can also expand the sweet offerings with a candy table that offers bags to fill with a variety of favorite candies and sweets. Make sure parents supervise…some parents are stricter with sweets than others. Couples can set up the candy station as an end-of-the-evening surprise before guests head out.
A Kid’s Menu
Some kids are picky eaters, others eat just about anything. Play it safe and offer a kid-centric entrée at the reception. Mac and cheese, burgers and chicken fingers are tried and true favorites. Or offer a buffet for all guests and include a variety of options that range from elegant to simple.
Sure, cameras with film are a bit outdated…but snapping pictures is still a lot of fun for kids. Let kids be mini photogs at the event with their own disposable cameras. They can take their own photos and have parents develop their masterpieces for a fun wedding souvenir.
Including kids on a wedding guest list takes the event to a fun level of entertainment. Kids are often the life of the party and never hesitate to cut loose on the dance floor when everyone else shies away. Ensuring kids are entertained and busy will keep the tears and mischief from becoming an issue, although most couples soon realize that the kids are often the happiest and most appreciative guests…and the most entertaining!