Deciding to involve children in your day and keeping them entertained can be a daunting task and is often considered one of the top bridal dilemmas.
Not only does it involve drawing up a list of those you know and love, but also how you’re going to look after them and ensure they won’t be bored silly throughout the course of the day.
The secret to having a stress-free wedding reception where both kids and parents are happy is to be well prepared and provide lots of kid-friendly fun. It is worth forewarning friends who are planning on bringing their children that you’re intending on keeping them entertained as they’ll more than likely need to share supervision responsibility at some point in the day or you’ll need to have parental permission for a professional entertainer to look after them.
Some of the best ways to ensure everyone is having the best time they can possibly have are very simple and won’t stretch that all-important wedding budget to the max.
Kids love nothing more than putting their creativity to work so setting up a mini area for art and craft activities will go down a treat. Have a table full of crayons, colouring books, playdough and stickers and set them tasks to design cards or draw pictures of the happy the couple (and maybe reward them with a few sweeties later on in the day!)
If you’ve got slightly older children coming get them to decorate cookies or cakes with icing pens, sugar flowers and glitter. They’ll love it!
One of the easiest and probably cheapest ways to keep the little ones happy is to reserve an area or room in your venue for games and DVDs. From their favourite board games such as Operation and Monopoly to a selection of Wii or Xbox games they can all play together, it’ll keep them entertained for hours.
Add big comfy pillows later on in the evening and let them settle into a nice cosy environment to watch a movie before being taken home to bed.
Treasure hunts and scavenger lists:
If your venue allows it, setting up an energy burning treasure hunt during your drinks reception provides a great team building and super-fun experience. A variation on this theme is a photo scavenger hunt - give them a goodie-bag with a disposable camera and a long list of photos they need to snap by the end of the day.
Giant garden games:
If you’re lucky enough to have nice weather and an outside reception, set up some lawn games and/or sporty activities to get the adrenaline pumping. Things like hopscotch, giant jenga, even croquet and swing ball are games that are easy for anyone to play and will burn off that little bit of energy.
Kids table or table games:
There is nothing more boring for kids than to sit and listen to adults talking (sometimes even adults find it boring!) If you’ve got enough children coming to the day, consider setting up a kid’s table or a separate area for the kids to eat so they don’t have to wait on the adults and can engage with people their own age.
If there aren’t enough children to warrant a separate table, why not provide an activity pack for them on the table with their parents. Most children take 10 minutes to scoff their food before jumping on to their next activity – this will give them something to do whilst the adults are finishing their starters.
Include things like colouring books and pencils, puzzles, bubbles, jigsaws etc. this stuff will keep them amused and their bums firmly on their seats.
If your budget can stretch, keep them laughing and enjoying themselves with a professional entertainer such as a balloon modeler, face painter or a clown.
Do research the different option available here, as there are lots of bad entertainers out there. You’re safer hiring a full time entertainer who specialises in weddings, as different performing situations require different skills. Also makes sure it is age appropriate as the older kids will lose interest if it is aimed at a younger audience.
These are professional child minders who will entertain and supervise children for the entirety of the wedding, meaning parents can relax knowing their children are being well looked after and having a fun time.
Probably a slightly pricier option but one that will guarantee a stress-free wedding day.