Ah children. They bring so much joy, and noise, into our lives. Why are kids hard to deal with at weddings? Well, here’s the thing about children: they can get bored pretty easily. What happens to a bored child? They get antsy, loud, and whiny. This is normally fine, but could become distracting extremely fast during your ceremony. And what about the reception? Is it okay to invite kids, but not offer anything fun for them to do? If you’re thinking about keeping the kids entertained, and consequently quiet, put on your creative cap and get in-touch with your inner child. We’ve compiled ten ideas for keeping kids occupied.
1. Fidget Kits
Think about the kinds of small toys you give kids to keep them occupied in the car. Now steal these ideas for keeping kids busy during your boring (for kids) wedding ceremony. You could offer little dolls or action figures. You could provide little wooden dress up kits that don’t create any mess. You could even provide fidget spinners. Anything small that provides fun, and is quiet and clean, is perfect for your kits. Some have even come up with adorable Polly Pocket-like tins that feature a little creature made out of a puff ball and some googly eyes. You can make a little house for the creature inside an old Altoids box. Kids are sure to love the miniature doll house with a twist!
2. Play Packs
If you can’t think of what kind of toys to provide, let the store think of that for you. Most major groceries or pharmacies offer play packs which are essentially fidget kits that you don’t have to put together yourself! Most include activities and coloring books which you might choose to provide at your ceremony or reception depending on the type of pack and the relative mess it will make.
3. Coloring Pages
Speaking of coloring, there are a lot of free coloring page resources out there. It may take little time and money to print off some wedding themed pages for the kids. Provide a space and some different coloring utensils and let the kids go crazy!
4. Kid’s Tent
This idea is really cute because it provides a special space just for kids. A lot of times receptions are an adult party. By providing a little tent, maybe with some stuffed animals or other types of toys, you give kids a place to have their own party.
Now hear me out. This idea might not be for everyone, but nothing distracts children like a movie. If it’s getting later and some of the kids are getting a little, shall we say, crabby, it might help to put on a Disney flick. Find a safe spot either in an adjacent room or on a projector and put something on just for them.
6. Carnival Games
This one might work better for an outdoor reception, but could be adapted for inside. Set up some games like ring toss, life-size Jenga, tic tac toe, and a large Connect Four. Kids and adults love this type of fun so it’s also something adults and their children can do together!
7. Painting Canvas
Set up a little painting table with mini canvases and ask the children to paint a “gift” for the couple. Not only will this occupy the children, but it’s also a memory you and your partner can share forever with their finished pieces. Just don’t forget to provide some kind of paint shirt so they don’t muss their fancy clothes.
8. Scavenger Hunt
A more involved way to entertain kids is to send them on a scavenger hunt! Create little clues and place them around your venue for a fun game that really gets kids moving. You could also make the hunt a photo hunt and provide little disposable cameras for the kids. This way you add more complexity for the older kids and you’ll get some funny pictures out of the deal.
9. Create Your Own Dessert Bar
Let the kids decorate their own cookie or cupcake. Kids love making things and they love eating so really you’ve got a win-win with this idea. Offer different colors of frosting and diverse flavors. Provide lots of types of sprinkles and maybe some sugar hearts or some other accessory for the kids to build their edible masterpieces.
10. Recreation Table
Keep kids occupied with a table dedicated to them. You can include a little bit of everything on this table such as coloring pages, games, snacks, etc.
If you’re going to have kids included in your wedding day, why go halfway? Commit and keep them having fun with your great ideas! I was in a carnival-themed wedding which included the kids in the ceremony with a special magic trick just for them. It was a hit! Don’t be afraid to get creative. Kids love feeling special on a wedding day. Any little touches of magic you can create for them will certainly add to the happiness of your day. Not to mention, occupied children are usually better behaved and that my friends is a wedding win!