This great article is written by Karen Louise from One Fab Day.
Entertaining children at weddings is up there with one of our most asked about bridal dilemmas. Many couples planning weddings with little guests on the list panic that the kiddies will be bored silly, drive their parents insane, or worse, run riot. Not long ago we talked about how to manage kids at weddings.
The secret to having a stress-free reception for both the parents and the couple when having children at weddings is to be prepared and provide lots of kid-friendly fun. With that in mind, we've come up with a list of 11 Ways to Entertain Children at Weddings, because a happy crew of kids will make life so much easier on your one fab day...
1. Fair Weather Fun - Outdoor Games
If you are having your reception in a venue which has a garden or decent outside area why not provide old school outdoor games in good weather? Fun lawn games such as hopscotch, lawn bowling, Twister, outdoor Jenga and Connect4 will keep them occupied for hours. Simple kites, skipping ropes and hula hoops are also great options.
2. Rainy Day Drinks Reception Entertainment
If the weather is not on your side, why not set up an area full of board games or jigsaws? Retro favourites such as Guess Who, Monopoly, Operation or Hungry Hippos will keep them busy and encourage kids to mingle. This is also a great option for the older kids on the guest list.
3. Arty Crafty Occupation
Kids love to make and do, so a mini area with pots of crayons and craft supplies like stickers, pipe cleaners, playdough to get creative with will go down a treat. Wedding themed crafts like decorating a cake, designing a wedding dress, making cards for the bride and groom or even making DIY masks for a photobooth would create hours of fun for little hands.
4. Kids Table
If there's a number of children of the same age attending (and they're old enough for it), then make it more fun for them by seating them all together and let to have their own fun over dinner. Set a particular menu for them, and add a few games and entertainments (see below) and consider hiring a baby-sitter or minder to supervise.
5. Freebie Fun - Table Games
Create an I Spy or Scavenger Hunt list to put on the table for the kids. A typical list could include items like a white dress, a person in a funny hat, a delicious dessert, something blue (you get the idea!) and provide a printable and disposable cameras so they can record and snap their finds! Some of our favourite free printable table games include
Eye Spy from EverMine and Martha Stewart Weddings
Cute Wedding Colouring Pages from She Knows
WordSearch Puzzle from Print-ables.com
Create your own custom wedding wordsearch on Puzzle Maker
Wedding Activity Book from Lovely Indeed
6. Hire professional entertainment
If the budget allows you could consider hiring some professional children's entertainers such as magicians, clowns or balloon modellers.
7. A Movie Room
Keep kids happy by setting up a quiet area set up for a movie. Add comfy pillows and cushions, beanbags or kiddie chairs and pop on a movie. You could even provide mini bags of popcorn! This is also a great idea for wind down time later in the evening before putting the kiddies to bed.
8. Professional Minders
Babysitters to look after the children during the wedding. They both entertain & supervise the children in a designated area in or near the wedding reception before and after your wedding meal. It will help you and your guests relax and enjoy the wedding reception knowing the kids are staying out of trouble but most of all having fun!
9. Ole Ole! Get a Pinata!
Pinatas are a great idea to involve all ages, young and old. Both kids and adults can have fun hitting and collecting what comes out!
Stock your photo booth with tons of dress-up items and photo props. You can even have a separate kids-only photo booth. Include items like funny hats, tutus, feather boas, and the ever-popular mustache on a stick. You can find great free mask printables online like this Toy Story version from Merriment Design or Kensie Kate has some great designs that you can simple print out on coloured paper.
11. Lots of Treats - Personalised Goody Bags
Fill up little goody bags for each of your little guests with age-appropriate treats. Pop them at each child's place setting at the reception to keep little people happy.
Here's a sample list of some of the things you could include:
snacks and juice cartons
mini puzzles and toys
crayons or colouring pencils (markers and paints are a big no no!)
colouring and activity books
Shared by Jeff Hindmarsh form Joined By Jeff Marriage Celebrant DJ & MC