Entertaining adult guests at a wedding is pretty simple; make sure they always have a drink in their hand and access to plenty of food and they’ll be content. But the younger guests are a little trickier to amuse.
Without the blur of alcohol a wedding day can seem incredibly long and by the time the reception rolls round the boredom may well and truly have set in. Cue plenty of sleeve tugging, whining and early departures.
But have a collection of fun activities prepped and ready and the whole day will be a doddle. All you’ll need to worry about is… well, everything else.
1. Have Activity Packs At The Ready
Prepping an activity pack of sorts for each child can be a wedding saviour. Make sure each one is exactly the same (so there are no arguments about whose is better) and fill them with colouring books, crayons, snacks, bubbles or whatever else takes your fancy. Ideally items that make a minimal amount of mess.
If you don’t fancy buying all the bits to make them, you can buy boxes to cater to different age groups from Not On The High Street.
2. Make The Kids Table Amazing
You want the kids table to have the wow-factor, so that the children are happy to hang out there while the rest of the wedding is underway. You could use a paper tablecloth that they’re allowed to draw all over and have bouquets of sweets and treats as the centerpiece – instead of flowers. Far more exciting.
3. Set Up A Bubble Station
Bubbles are perfect at weddings. They last a while, don’t make any mess and look pretty and ethereal in all of the photos. Plus, they’re cheap to buy or you can make them in advance yourself using this simple recipe.
4. Organise A Treasure Hunt
This is a genius idea – but will take a fair amount of prep beforehand. Keep all of the clues simple and make sure it doesn't take the children very far.
5. Build Them Their Own Space
Creating a hideaway, or separate area, for the children at your wedding is a great way to keep them all in one place (where their parents can keep an eye on them) – plus it gives them a little independence. Make sure there’s a big hamper of toys, games and food to keep them busy and chances are you won’t hear a peep from them for hours.
6. Provide Lots Of Games
From ring toss to hop scotch, set up plenty of games for the kids to play – the adults might want to join in too. You can design them in keeping with your theme, for example some retro fairground games would work well at a vintage styled wedding.
7. Include Them In The Champagne Toast
The speeches are a big part of the wedding and a nice moment to include the children in. Arm them with special milk and cookie drinks to toast, so they feel involved.
8. Book An Entertainer
From a clown to a balloon artist, there are all kinds of entertainers that you can hire to keep the children happy while the adult guests party the night away. If you can’t afford the cost, one of the parents might be happy to host a puppet show for the little ones – or you could hire a babysitter for the day to make sure the children stay safe and have fun.
9. Keep The Snacks Coming
There’s not a lot worse than a hungry child, so make sure you keep those tiny tums filled! A sweet station is a sure-fire winner and giving the children a bag of edible treats to munch on during the ceremony itself (if it's going to be a lenghty one) will help starve off any tantrums.
10. Let Them Play Photographer
If there are only a handful of children at your big day, give them the task of being the photographer for the day. Arm them with a list of what to photograph along with a disposable camera and you may find they end up taking some of the best snapshots of the days. N.B: it’s probably worth hiring a professional photographer, too – just in case.
11. Create A Decorating Station
Whether it’s decorating biscuits, cupcakes or T-shirts, this is bound to keep the younger guests happy for a while. But be warned; anything involving icing and sprinkles tends to get messy.
12. Hire A Bouncy Castle
Great fun for the kids – and the adults!
13. Set Up A Photo Booth
Fill it with props so the children can dress up and take plenty of hilarious photos. They make a great present for the parents to take home, too.
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