Unless your reception is adult-only, you and your fiancé should take the time to think about the youngest guests at your wedding. Even if there will only be a handful of children present, it’s your job to make sure they’re entertained. Since you want to give the parents a chance to unwind and have fun, you might want to set up a kids’ corner at some distance from the rest of the reception.
The entertainment will depend on the age and temperament of the kids, as well as the venue of your reception. If the reception is held outside, you should prepare some indoor toys in case the weather turns rainy. Remember that your goal is to keep the children safe and out of trouble while providing them with a fun experience in honor of your big day.
Here are some games that will leave an impression on the kids and their parents.
1. Drawing and Coloring
One of the best ways to keep children engaged is to give them something to do. Art is a relatively quiet activity they can do as a group. If you provide them with quality art equipment, the older children will be happy to join in.
Since everyone’s going to be dressed to the nines, it’s better to avoid art supplies that will leave stains. You can’t go wrong with crayons, plain and colored paper, and a selection of coloring books for the youngest ones.
Chalk is another great option. If you invest in a few portable blackboards, you can give the preschoolers a chance to engage in imaginative play. As kids love being included in the celebration, you can let them decorate a table or a wall with doodles.
A Note on Drawing Equipment
While setting up a drawing station is a perfectly adequate solution, you can go one step further and prepare a gift package for each kid. Buy some paper bags, label them with the name of each kid, and then fill them with art equipment. If you like, you can download personalized coloring pages for each child present. In addition to crayons, you could add stickers or invest in disposable cameras.
2. Other Arts and Crafts
To make sure everything’s running smoothly, you can give the kids a specific task to complete. For example, you can have them create flower or paper crowns. Why not challenge them to make wedding-themed greeting cards of their own? You can even ask them to help you make personalized wedding favors for the guests.
Make sure to prepare enough glue and safety scissors, as well as textiles and other knickknacks they can incorporate into their creations. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, you can also encourage the children to use leaves and twigs that they can find in nature. Some of your floral decorations might be fair game too.
Food-related crafts can also be a great idea. For example, you can prepare a cupcake for each child to decorate or invest in cheap mugs for the children to draw on.
Children can have a lot of fun making jewelry. They also enjoy learning how to embroider, knit, or try their hand at stained glass painting. But if there are toddlers and preschoolers in the group, you should be careful. Avoid anything that can be a choking hazard or cause injury.
3. Giant Board Games
For an outdoor wedding, consider buying a mega-sized version of some well-loved board games. These will give the children an excuse to move around and test their dexterity.
Take lawn Jenga for example. The kids will love building a tower that is taller than them, and some of the adult guests might decide to join in. You can buy a giant Jenga set online or have it custom-made.
At the same time, some of these games are excellent brain-teasers. You can get a giant checkers board, chess board, Scrabble board, as well as a massive Connect-Four set. Oversized dominoes can engage very young kids as well as the older ones, and even teens might enjoy building a wall or tower using dominoes as blocks.
You can also make use of the venue. For example, a beach wedding is the perfect location for playing tic-tac-toe, as the children can draw grids in the sand and use pebbles for the X’ and O’s.
4. Toys and Sports Equipment for Outdoor Play
An outdoor venue gives your young guests a chance to run around. They can play tag or hide-and-seek.
But you can also stock up on fun toys such as hula hoops. Skipping rope is another popular option. You can set up a cornhole board and provide the children with corn bags they can toss. Make sure they have soft balls to play with, and you can even provide them with foam baseball bats.
Why not seek inspiration in traditional carnival games? Ring tossing and horseshoe tossing are traditional wedding staples, and it’s very easy to DIY the equipment. In the case of point-scoring games, prepare to hand out modest prizes to the winners. Make sure there are enough prizes to go around for every age group.
Setting up a piñata is another excellent option. The resulting candy shower will make this one of the most successful party games, even if the contents of the piñata aren’t as grand as the other desserts you have on offer.
5. Puzzles and Building Blocks
Here are some more toys that are perfect for indoor weddings. LEGO appeals to kids of every age, and you should also invest in jigsaw puzzles of various difficulty levels. Choking hazards might be a concern again, so keep everyone’s ages in mind.
Traditional board games and card games are another good way to go. Additionally, you can let the youngest kids play with colorful building blocks and small tents.
A Final Word
While toys and art supplies can do a lot to keep children engaged, they might need some adult supervision as well. Feel free to discuss this question with the parents.
If you have the funds for it, it can be really helpful to hire an experienced child entertainer. These professionals have equipment of their own and know how to work with several age groups at a time. They can introduce the children to games they’ve never played before, which is a good way to make your special day unforgettable for everyone involved.