Keeping Kids Busy At Your Wedding
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of planning a wedding reception is how you plan on keeping your littlest and youngest guests content during your big day. Children, especially the younger ones, don’t have the attention span, patience, or understanding of what is going on during the wedding reception, and other wedding events. They easily become bored and when this happens, they can do things that can embarrass their parents or even put a significant damper on your wedding.
So what are some things that you can do to keep children occupied and happy? Early planning is essential to preventing dilemmas and ensuring that everyone is happy, including your underage guests and their parents. Here are some creative suggestions that you can use to keep the young ones happy and even make them feel like they are a part of the festivities.
Photo Scavenger Hunt. One of the most popular ideas is also very simple, cost effective, and could yield you some really cool pictures. You can make a list of about twenty different events that may occur during the wedding and let the children seek them out and snap some photos with disposable cameras that you provide. Some events may include catching the bride talking with the groom’s parents, the mother of the bride crying, the groom playing with his ring, or the bride and groom holding hands. Offer prizes to the children that you will send to them for the best pictures once the film is developed. You will be surprised how awesome these pictures will turn out and wonder why you wasted so much money on a professional photographer.
Coloring. Kids love to draw and color and there are millions of ideas encompassing crayons. You can give children coloring books and crayons as party gifts either before the ceremony or during the reception. You can strategically place poster boards with different themes throughout the facility for children to color on. Some themes may include drawing pictures of wedding cakes and dresses that will inspire children’s creativity. Another idea is to leave blank cards at each child’s seat and let them make a congratulations card. Just don’t forget to send them a thank you card in return.
Activity Table. Almost everyone has board games and other activities that children love to play with. You can set up a table with board games, toys, and other items that you and your friends and family may already have. This is a great way to encourage children to play together and interact with each other. Just be sure to keep a list of who owns what items that are on the activity table to prevent confrontations that may arise after the celebrations.
Contests. Children love challenges, especially when there are prizes at stake. Most DJs are willing to cater to young children by hosting dance competitions, hula-hoop contests, musical chairs, and other small interactive games that pit the kids against each other. And most of the time you will find the adults, not just the kids and their parents, also participating in the events, which further enhances the fun for the children and makes your wedding memorable for them, too.
Homemade Carnival Games. There are a multitude of simple but fun carnival games that you can make using things you already have around the house or can obtain cheaply at the store. You can stand a couple dozen bottles together and let children throw rings at them in a cheap, custom-made ring toss game. You could also cut holes of various sizes into cardboard boxes that kids can throw balls or bean bags through for different amounts of points. You can line cups up and let children attempt to throw ping pong balls into them from a distance. There are hundreds of other cheap and even free ideas for homemade carnival games. As an added perk, the older kids can run the carnival games and small prizes such as party gifts or candy can be used as awards. To give it that carnival feeling, a roll of tickets can be purchased and each child given a certain amount of tickets to play the games.
Children’s Reception Table. One thing that is usually omitted from most receptions is an actual table dedicated to your small guests. A simple table that is set up at the children’s height with a spread of treats, juices, snacks, and party favors will go a long way at earning the appreciation of children. Parents are sure to be thankful for your taking the time to include their children in what is generally considered an adult day.
Sleeping Mats, Pillows and Blankets. If you plan on running your reception long into the night, you run the risk of making some kids very cranky. This is especially true if you pooped them out with activities throughout the day. One easy solution is to offer a place where children can rest. To make them more comfortable, you can rent mats that they can lay on and even bring along some blankets and pillows. Once again, parents will be very thankful and they will be more inclined to stay longer than they may have originally planned.
Things Not To Do. Bubbles are really fun for children and adults alike, but when a lot of bubbles are being used in a small area, the liquid makes everything slippery, then sticky. This includes grass, dance floors, clothing and your skin. Don’t offer children any type of coloring device (such as crayons or markers) that are permanent. They may not color or draw where you expected them to. Try to avoid giving gifts that fly or bounce, such as Frisbees and balls. There are usually a lot of things that are fragile and things that fly and bounce tend to always make their way directly toward things that break easily.
Keeping your young guests entertained is just as important as or even more important than their adult counterparts. It truly can mean the success of your wedding and reception. So consider some of the aforementioned ideas to make your big day successful and memorable for guests of every age.