12 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained At Your Wedding
Many people consider kids an important and integral part of any wedding day. While it’s true that some couples opt for child-free weddings, most wouldn’t consider getting married without their nearest and dearest little ones by their side.
But unfortunately, having young children around does come with its disadvantages. Let’s face it, most weddings aren’t exactly designed with kids in mind and if your youngest guests aren’t amused, you will know it. Tears, tantrums, running amok, and other ‘bad’ behaviours are all symptoms of boredom!
We’ve compiled a list 12 great ideas for keeping kids entertained, happy and well-behaved at your wedding. While you don’t have to incorporate all of these ideas, picking at least one or two will help ensure your celebration isn’t spoiled by bored and screaming tots.
Activity Books and Worksheets
Wedding ceremonies aren’t much fun for little ones. While the officiant drones on and on, the kids in your audience will grow restless. The solution? Keep their hands and minds busy with quiet writing, drawing and colouring activities.
This could include colouring sheets, word searches, pencil mazes, spot the difference – the list goes on. You can even get wedding-themed activity books, such as this Something To Keep You Happy Activity Book. Activity books are fun, and as a bonus, they don’t require the child to get up and move, or make any noise!
For toddlers that are too young for activity books, fidget toys are a great alternative. They’ll keep little ones focused and absorbed throughout the boring parts of the day (such as the ceremony, speeches, and the endless cocktails).
Examples include handheld wooden puzzles, fidget spinners, tangle toys, Rubik’s cubes, yoyos, and silly putty (slime). Toys marketed as ‘sensory’ or with mixed textures are particularly interesting to young toddlers. For best results, opt for toys that don’t make any noise, and won’t require an adult’s help to play with.
Sweets and Treats
Nothing works better than sweets and treats to keep kids quiet. They can’t scream or cry if they’re busy stuffing their faces!
Of course, it’s not a good idea to bribe children with sweets on a regular basis. But at an occasion as important as a wedding, there’s no harm in indulging their sweet-tooth if it helps them keep happy and occupied.
Give each child a miniature bag of pick and mix to nibble at throughout the ceremony, in these adorable Stripe Candy Bags. It’ll be worth sitting still for. And during the reception, how about setting up a chocolate fountain to keep them entertained while the adults are partying?
Wedding Nanny Service
Wedding nannies are like on-site childminders. They are professionals – often with qualifications in childcare, and always DBS checked – that you pay to look after your guest’s children. All you’ll need is a dedicated room (or rooms, or outside spaces) at the venue, which you can use as a crèche.
Most services create tailored packages for each wedding. They’ll bring with them plenty of supplies, activities, games and ideas to keep the little ones entertained.
Bear in mind that some of your guests won’t be comfortable with a stranger looking after their kids, and will prefer their little ones to stay with them.
If a professional nanny service doesn’t appeal to you, why not design your own dedicated playroom? Fill the area with board games, toys, video games, and open-ended objects for imaginative play. If there’s space, you could even set up a miniature kids’ dancefloor and have a Disney soundtrack playing. play and dance – designated adult to supervise
The idea that throughout the wedding day, kids can come and go from the room as they please, or whenever they’re bored and want to get away from the adults. Little ones will need to be supervised, so ensure there’s always someone to keep an eye on them.
Wedding Breakfast Kids’ Table
The wedding breakfast is typically a big three, four or even five-course meal. It can take several hours from start to finish, and most young kids find the whole affair very dull. What child would want to sit around for hours at a table full of adults having boring conversations?
To break up the monotony for your younger guests, we suggest having a dedicated kids’ table. While babies and toddlers will stay with their parents, the kids’ table is great for older children (4+). Decorate the table with activity books, disposable cameras, pens and paper, and let the kids have fun together while the adults chat.
A hungry child is almost as dangerous as a tired child when it comes to the risk of tantrums. So, to keep them satisfied with a full belly, we’d recommend feeding the kids early. Most kids’ menus don’t have starters, so send their main course out at the same time as the adults’ first course.
This way, they can take as long as they like to finish their food, and won’t be sat around waiting for the adults. After they’re done eating, keep them occupied with a colouring book or let them run around outside (if it’s safe).
Arts and Crafts
When children don’t have the opportunity to create anything, they often turn to destruction, or end up bouncing off the walls. Arts and crafts have an almost magical ability to keep any young child entertained and absorbed in what they’re doing.
Set up an arts and crafts table in a tucked-away corner of your venue. It could even be outside, if the weather allows it. Set out some play-dough, play-sand, Lego, coloured pencils, paper, glue sticks and safety scissors. Paint and other materials that stain are probably best avoided!
Does your venue have a garden, courtyard, or outside space of any kind? If so, you’re in luck. There’s an endless stream of outdoor activities that you can set up, to keep little ones busy. For example:
• Football nets
• Ring toss game
• Bouncy castle
If you’re feeling creative, why not set up an outdoor treasure-hunt, with a little prize at the end for every participant? Outdoor activities are sure to put a smile on any child’s face, and what’s more, they’ll burn off all that excess energy.
Weddings can be overwhelming places for young children. Think about it: they’re in a big, noisy and unfamiliar place, full of strangers. There’s lots going on around them, and while it’s bound to be exciting, it’s over-stimulating too. This can be a recipe for disaster, especially for toddlers.
We’d advise setting aside a dedicated ‘quiet room’, where overwhelmed kids can go to relax. Set out lots of cushions, blankets, stuffed animals and books. Very young kids can use it for nap-time, while older children can simply take five, and get away from it all.
Movie and Popcorn
There’s nothing that can grasp a kid’s undivided attention for longer than a movie. If your venue has the space, why not set up a movie room with bean bag chairs, a DVD player and projector? Select a few classic family-friendly movies, and leave them playing. Disney and Pixar films, such as Toy Story and Monster’s Inc., are loved by adults and kids alike.
For an added touch, setup a popcorn station and let the kiddos help themselves. You might even find they’re joined by a few adults over the course of the afternoon.
If you have the funds, you should definitely consider adding a children’s entertainer to your list of wedding suppliers.
Some examples include:
• Balloon animal modeller
• Popular character (a Disney princess, for example)
• Face paint artist
• Puppet show
While they won’t stay all day long, a kids’ entertainer is sure to keep your youngest guests amused for 1-2 hours. And there’s nothing stopping child-at-heart grownups from getting involved too!