Children are a source of joy and happiness and having them around at any time is simply a wonderful feeling, especially at your wedding, as they spread their infectious excitement and enthusiasm all around them. However, they can also be a source of irritation if they are overtired, hungry and emotional unless you can keep them entertained during the big day. A few suggestions on how to tackle them on your wedding day are being given below:
Outdoor Games: If the weather is good and if the reception venue has a garden or a decent outside area it would be best to provide popular outdoor games such as hopscotch, lawn bowling, Twister, outdoor Jenga and Connect4 so that they can be kept occupied for hours. The other options are simple kites, skipping ropes and hula hoops.
Bouncy Castle: This can keep the kids happy and occupied but try to avoid mixing boisterous 12-year old boys with little toddlers as they can create quite a ruckus. You might be able to put up a bouncy castle indoors in an empty large room, which will be especially helpful in case it rains.
Quiz Session: If you organise a quiz session for older children, it will keep them occupied and add to their general knowledge. However, you must ensure that a small prize is given to every child who competes in the quiz.
Magic Time: Children love watching magic shows as they are completely intrigued by magic tricks. As such, it is good to have a magician on standby so that children can be kept engrossed, especially if it is raining outside. You should also inform the entertainer about the age group of the children so that he can devise age-specific tricks for maximum entertainment of the children.
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Indoor Games: If the weather is not conducive for outdoor games, you can set up an area inside the venue that you can fill up with favourite games such as Guess Who, Monopoly, Operation or Hungry Hippos so that the kids can be kept busy. You should also encourage the kids, especially the older ones, to mingle and make friends.
Arts & Crafts: A mini area can be set up in which you can provide pots of crayons and other craft supplies such as stickers, pipe cleaners and play dough so that the kids can display their creative talents. Children can also indulge in wedding themed crafts such as designing a wedding dress, decorating a cake, making cards for the groom and bride and making DIY masks for a photo booth. All these activities will keep them occupied for a long time.
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Organise a Kids’ Table: If there are plenty of children of the same age group and capable of being on their own, you can seat them all together at a table for having dinner and a lot of fun. You can organise a suitable menu for them and also a few games and entertainments. A baby-sitter or minder can be hired to supervise them.
Table Games: There are plenty of table games available such as Eye Spy, WordSearch Puzzle or Wedding Activity Book. You can also create I Spy or Scavenger Hunt list that you can place on the table and offer printable and also disposable cameras to the kids so that they can record and photograph their discoveries. The items on the list could include a white dress, a person in a funny hat, a delicious dessert, or something blue.
Photo Booth: You can have a separate photo booth for kids and place items such as funny hats, tutus, feather boas, and the ever-popular moustache on a stick. You can also obtain free mask printables online and simply print them on coloured paper.
Personalised Goody Bags: Fill up plenty of age-appropriate treats in little goody bags and give to each child. You can pop them at the place setting of each child so that they can enjoy them. The treats need not be very expensive and you can look for great bits and pieces at Pound shops. Many places have a selection of retro goodies for the kids and at other places you can get ready-made goody bags, boxes and activity packs. Some of the items that you can include in the bags could be snacks and juice cartons, mini puzzles and toys, bubbles, glow sticks, crayons or colouring pencils but not markers and paints and colouring and activity books.
Other Suggestions: At the place, where service is taking place, such as a church or any other venue, you should ask the ushers to provide seats at the end of the rows for parents with children to enable them to exit quickly and quietly if they want. You can offer the kids a picture of the bride and groom for colouring. You should also arrange for kid-friendly food for the children as hungry kids create the most disturbances. It is important to check if the kids have any allergies. You can also organise a dance competition for one song and ask the DJ to play ‘Let it go’. Older children can be kept entertained for hours with a camera scavenger as you can put a disposable camera and a list of things to photograph by their place setting. Little ones will also enjoy getting their faces painted and so you can hire a really good face painter but you have to ensure that all the photography is complete before the face painting. You should also have a photograph of all the children with the bride and groom and most of them will treasure this photograph for a long time.