Couples who painstakingly attend to every detail of a wedding plan can still forget to make arrangements for the needs of the children they invite. Children can quickly get bored at a formal wedding and feel miserable.
It’s important, then, to plan ahead, and make arrangements for them. Following these tips can help keep your little guests busy all day long.
1. Pitch little indoor tentsKids love small, cozy, private spaces. You can set an area apart at the wedding venue and pitch little camping tents there. These can be a great way to keep your little guests occupied. With a few toys and activities left around in the tents, kids will have no reason to think about the boring wedding ceremony.
2. Set out activity tablesA children’s play area can have more than just tents: it can have activity tables filled with board games, coloring books, colors (the nonpermanent kind) and toys. You don’t even need to buy these items; you can simply have friends bring in some of what they have at home.
If you can afford to buy lots of coloring books, it’s even better. There are also many free printable coloring pages online that you can print out and give kids instead of coloring books.
3. A children’s reception tableWhile weddings always have plenty of children, the need for reception tables and chairs that are the right height for small children is often overlooked. Arranging for the right kind of furniture can make a big difference. Short tables filled with party favors, treats and snacks can keep children busy: they can reach for the treats they need on their own, without asking for adult help.
4. Sleeping arrangementsIf children at a wedding want to quietly lie down and rest, it wouldn’t be right to deny them an opportunity. Good sleeping arrangements would be a great way to keep kids out of the way when they don’t feel like being active.
Many couples overlook this kids’ need, albeit children tend to be more active than adults, some of them love to take a midday nap. Keep it in mind when planning your wedding.
5. A children’s dance contestMost wedding DJs have experience spinning for children. They know their tastes and also know how to throw entertaining dance contests.
Children love these contests, especially when they get to win prizes. But, you should stay calm if all the attention will be devoted to your little guests.
6. Set up a little movie areaWhile plopping kids in front of the TV may seem like the lazy way out with any situation, it can make a lot of sense at events like weddings. A large-screen TV, plenty of children’s DVDs and popcorn can make kids glad they came.
However it’s a great idea to try when it’s raining outside. When the weather is fantastic, let kids spend time outdoors. Kids won’t remember your wedding day if they spend it watching TV only.
7. Call in the professionals
Not every arrangement you make for kids at a wedding needs to be the DIY kind. Getting professional clowns, magicians or petting zoos could be an option.
Professionals know how to entertain children of all ages and they know how to deal with child’s temper tantrum. While it’s not a cheap idea, you won’t have to worry about keeping your little guests entertained on your wedding day.
8. Get a photo boothPhoto booths are so much fun that even adults are known to have fun in them. Children, though, truly love them because making funny faces at a camera comes naturally to them.
It’s usually a good idea to get more than one booth, though. You wouldn’t want to have fights breaking out over sharing the one booth that’s available.
9. Hand out disposable camerasWhile children have lots of fun with cellphone cameras and digital cameras, disposable cameras can be fun, too. These models usually cost between $10 and $25, and can keep children occupied for hours. Hand out disposable cameras and enjoy your special day and impossibly fun pictures!
10. Give the kids responsibilities where possibleChildren love being trusted with important tasks, as long as they know that they aren’t being patronized. Children certainly can have a few important responsibilities of any wedding.
They can hand out wedding programs and blow bubbles at the crowd at certain points during the ceremony, for instance. Think of any responsibilities you can give kids to keep them busy for hours.
Plenty of kids’ activities involve coloring supplies. While crayons, pencils and paint can keep children entertained, they can be used in the wrong places – on the walls of the wedding venue, for instance.
If you plan to give your children colors, you need to make sure that they are easily washable. It’s also important to not allow toys like balls and frisbees that can cause damage. Wedding venues have plenty of fragile articles, after all.
Do you have any other ideas? Let me hear them!