Sometimes weddings can feel like one dilemma or drama after the next – finding the dress, picking your bridesmaids, selecting the perfect wedding cake etcetera. Well here’s one aspect of your wedding you should definitely think about well in advance – what are you going to do with the kids? Any wedding that has children in attendance needs just that extra bit of thought to make sure the little ones are kept entertained, not wreaking havoc at the ceremony or reception. Here are 5 ways to keep the children occupied, and out of trouble at your wedding.
Set up a kid specific table
Children tend to be best occupied when paired with other little ones their age, so why not set up a table just for the youngsters. This obviously isn’t meant for toddlers and babies, but children who are 6-12 years old, old enough to handle themselves at the dinner table and chat to one another.
You can stock the table with colouring equipment, and other activities to keep the little ones amused, throughout long speeches and toasts that are bound to have them restless and fidgety. Best thing about activities like colouring? It requires minimal noise, and is a solo activity that they can quietly engage in if they get bored! You might also want to consider child proofing the table, avoiding fancy tablecloths and utensils that could be potentially dangerous with younger kids.
Bring in a professional
If you have the budget for it, you could bring in kid-specific entertainment, where the little ones can be amused in a separate room on-site. Be it a magician, puppeteer or even just someone who can supervise a bunch of outdoor games with the children, this is bound to keep them entertained so that mums and dads can enjoy the festivities. Plus, they’ll be right nearby and can be brought in for important moments – photos, vows, and of course the cake!
This way the kids will have just as good a time celebrating the marriage as you will – and everyone wants high spirits and cheer at a wedding! If you don’t have the money for a professional, see if you can get a sitter or someone who’s willing to be on child-duty for different shifts throughout the night.
Set up an activity area for the children
Other than colouring, it’s always good to have a couple of other activity ideas on hand that the kids can do in between courses at their table. Consider having a couple of quizzes or question sheets made, and you’d be surprised how this challenge really sucks little ones in. You could ask simple questions for the youngsters, for example “who is the tallest person in the room?”, and at the end of the day the person with the most correct answers wins candy, or some other suitable trinket.
For slightly older kids this could be actual general knowledge questions, with a fun twist. Nothing like developing their learning skills whilst at an event! Killing two birds with one stone! You could even keep the activity wedding themed and ask kid-friendly question about the newly weds, if they are family members who know them well.
Set up a movie room
Of course you want the little ones to be in attendance for most bits of the wedding, but in long functions there might be certain sections they really don’t need to be there for. For example, during speeches, most young children will be bored and may not understand what is going on anyway – and remember, you want the kids to have a positive memory of weddings, so that they will be excited to go to the next one. So in this case, it might be time to pull out the old parenting trick of popping a DVD in, and letting them enjoy a short episode of a show or movie.
This will get them out of their parents’ hair so your guests can get teary listening to friends and family speak, without a little voice in their ear asking “Mum, how much longer?”
Dedicate a sleepy spot for the little ones
Some weddings last until the wee hours of the morning, and you want your guests to be free to party and be merry with you and your friends, without worrying about their kids’ sleep cycle being completely destroyed. So have a room set up for any babies or kids that need some peace and quiet to drift off to sleep at any point in the night that they need to. As long as it’s far enough away that they can’t hear the noise of the party, but close enough for safety, that’s all you really need.
So put some thought into a couple of these arrangements so as to accommodate the families with little ones who are coming to your wedding. You want everyone to have a good time – including the parents, because who knows, you might be one yourself real soon.