When it comes to planning your wedding, there are thousands of things to think about. From picking the perfect decorations to choosing that exact color for the custom bridesmaid dresses that will make your closest friends feel fabulous wearing them, there’s so much to think about. Let’s not even mention the dress itself; somehow it has to be beautiful yet affordable enough that you won’t have to go into credit card debt paying for it.
One of your biggest worries is making sure that kids are entertained. After all, a wedding is mostly an adult affair, from the champagne to the dancing, but lots of your friends and family have kids, and you don’t want them sitting around bored (or worse, causing mayhem). Luckily, here are some easy ways to keep those kids entertained:
1 Set up a kids’ table--with kids’ stuff
If there’s going to be a huge group of young children at your wedding dinner, then why not make things easy for yourself and create a kids’ table? According to Buzzfeed.com, one great idea is to provide them with lots of crayons--and instead of using a fancy tablecloth, provide butcher paper instead, which is perfect for drawing on, not to mention easy to clean in case there are any food-caused messes. Drawing-friendly wedding-themed placemats like this one are a great idea, too.
Drawing is an important part of a child’s development, in fact, so parents will be grateful to you for providing this opportunity to their kids (and besides--it’s fun!).
2 Provide games
It’s not a kids’ party, so you don’t have to shell out money to pay for a clown or pony rides (after all, the average cost of a wedding in the US is already $35,329). But providing kids with games is going to keep them so entertained that their mothers will have time to dance along with you to your favorite high school tunes. According to One Fab Day, some outdoor activities include Twister and lawn bowling, and indoor alternatives include “Guess Who, Monopoly, Operation or Hungry Hippos will keep them busy and encourage kids to mingle. This is also a great option for the older kids on the guest list.”
3 Create an activity box
If you’ve got a little extra to spend--maybe you saved on your wedding dress by buying it used, after learning that a used dress is only worn for 6-8 hours, max--then creating an activity box for kids is a great idea. Especially if their ages range quite a lot, you’ll be able to design each box based on how old they are, as well as their personal tastes. For a great guide on what to pack in these boxes, for ages 3-6 and 6-11, check out this article from Bridal Musings. They’ve also got recommendations for affordable alternatives to buy if you’re short on time.
4 Offer a scavenger hunt
This idea’s going to take a bit more effort, but if you’re a creative type, and your wedding happens to be held somewhere with lots of nooks and crannies (and old winery, for example, or a historical building with a large amount of land attached to it), then offering a scavenger hunt is perfect kids. An added bonus is that it will use up so much of that energy they have.
According to weddingpartyapp.com, these are the steps to follow: “Create an I-Spy scavenger hunt that features a wedding-themed checklist: a white dress, a delicious dessert, a bouquet of flowers, etc. For added fun, include an inexpensive disposable camera in the mix to bring out the little photographer within. You might be surprised by the result!”
5 Book and movie corner
For later in the evening, as the adults are drinking a bit more and kids might start to get a little sleepy (and possibly grumpy, unfortunately), you’ll want to provide a place for them to relax. According to sheknows.com, “You can keep kids calm throughout the night or give them a place to chill when the festivities are winding down by setting up a quiet area equipped with books and movies. Comfy pillows and beanbags are a great addition to these tranquil wedding activities for children, especially for wrangling kiddos who are prone to wander. Add 3D glasses and a popcorn machine, and kids of all ages will enjoy themselves.”
Even though it may be tempting to just lend the children at your wedding a phone or a tablet, we’re now spending 5 hours a day on our phones--and that’s such an alarming statistic that it’s better to keep them entertained the old-fashioned way. So even if it’s the end of the night and you want to avoid tears, consider sitting with them a few minutes instead, watching the movie with them.
Even though a wedding isn’t the most entertaining place for kids, that doesn’t mean that they can’t have fun. By using creative solutions such as these, they’ll have as much fun as any kids’ party--and be a special part of your special day.
How do you think you’ll keep the kids entertained at your wedding?