One of the most frequent bridal dilemmas is keeping children entertained at weddings. Little humans find this type of celebrations long and tiring, and we all know – or can imagine – the disaster that can come up when temperamental children lose their patience.
If your guest list includes children, avoid transforming your special day into a total fiasco by planning some activities for the little ones.
Short of ideas? Here are eleven easy ways to keep children entertained at weddings.
1. Give Lots of Treats
As awful as it may sound, your #1 weapon to keeping children entertained at weddings is by bribing them with treats. White marshmallows and clear gummy bears are perfect for the ceremony and the beginning of the reception when you want to keep the dress as white as snow.
If you don’t want to hand them treats right away, invite the kids to play a little game. Promise a special sweet during the reception to the one that behaves the best during the ceremony. Just don’t fail to deliver the promised award to the winner.
2. Plan Outdoor Games
If the weather and venue permit it, arrange an outdoor games area. Chess, cricket, hopscotch or lawn bowling are just some of the activities you could propose. A kids outdoor area will most likely keep the little guests entertained for hours.
3. Create an Indoor Play Area
Regardless of the weather and on whether or not the venue has a garden, create an indoor play area too. Old-school board games are not out of fashion, and will also be enjoyed by older children.
Another nice idea is to build an indoor tent fortress if space allows it. Decorate with cushions and pillows, throw in a few toys, and let the kids unleash their imagination while inventing their own games.
4. Set Up a Kids Table
Seating children at an adults’ table is an almost certain recipe for disaster. Let the kids have their own eating space. Set up a dedicated children’s table; use kid friendly decorations and colourful tableware. Not only the children will have fun, but they will also feel important.
5. Special Children Menu
Do you know what children like at weddings? Food. All those decorated plates stimulate the curiosity of your little guests. However, your wedding menu could be too fancy for the underdeveloped palate of a child. To keep children happy, ask the chef to prepare a different menu for them.
Delicious finger foods, cupcakes, and mini sandwiches might be your best bet if you want to impress the kids at your wedding.
6. I Spy with a Twist
I Spy is a popular game ideal for children who can read. Make cards with objects present at your wedding and invite the little ones to cross them off the list. For instance, make the kids look after a pink dress, a fancy hat, or something blue. Place the cards alongside coloured pencils on the table and allow them to have fun while hunting for the objects on the list.
If the kids are old enough to operate a camera, you can even spice up the game, by asking the children to photograph the objects they’ve spotted.
Printable and disposable cameras are perfect for the purpose. And who knows, maybe one of your little guests will even immortalise your favourite snap of the reception.
7. Play Kids Music
Another thing to think of when organising your wedding is music. Adults will most likely entertain themselves on the dance floor, but most children don’t like the kind of music adults listen to. If you want to satisfy everyone present, ask the DJ to throw in a kid’s song every now and then.
Disney songs are guaranteed to entertain children of all ages. Ten-minute sessions of children songs every hour or so is all it takes to make the kids happy.
8. Revamp the Photo Booth
If we were to find a children’s attraction at a wedding, it would perhaps be the photo booth. Fancy props, funny hats, and cute signs will act as a magnet for the little ones. While the photo booth should entertain everyone, make sure the kids can find props able to stimulate their imagination.
9. Set Up a Film Room
If the venue permits it, set up a film room. Disney cartoons can entertain children of all ages, keeping them occupied for hours. Make things cosy using cushions instead of chairs; let the children lay down and enjoy their favourite movie while everyone else has fun in the main reception room.
All you need is a responsible adult willing to supervise the little ones. This could be one of the parents or one of the venue’s employees. Alternatively, consider hiring a babysitter.
10. Think of Naptime
Weddings can sometimes be long, and even the most well-behaved children will need a nap at some point. If you have set up a film room, you can use it as a nap area too. Or ask the venue to set up an area where mums can feed their youngsters and place their nappy bags. The same area can also be used as a naptime zone for kids who drained their energy on the dance floor.
11. Get an Entertainer
A sure way to keep children entertained at weddings is with the help of a professional entertainer. Magicians, clowns, balloon modellers, and face painters can keep the children occupied for hours, taking all the burdens off of you.
Not only you’ll make sure all parents are enjoying your wedding instead of watching the kids, but no other adult at the reception will know how to catch the children’s attention and keep them busy the way an entertainer will.
Weddings should be enjoyable for guests of all ages, and we truly hope you spotted some great ideas to keep children entertained. In this way, you can prevent any meltdowns that could ruin your long-waited big day.