One difficulty of hosting a wedding reception is finding ways to keep children preoccupied while their parents dance and mingle. Adequate kids’ entertainment keeps young guests from being bored or a bother to adults. Children can enjoy themselves throughout the event by participating in crafts, photo booths, dances, scavenger hunts and outdoor games.
Set up small tables where the kids can eat together during dinner. Place crayons and coloring books in the center of the table to give them something to do while they wait for their food to be served. Give them paper place mats to color, or simply use a paper tablecloth. Provide enough small snacks to keep them from being hungry without ruining their appetites.
Dancing and Other Participatory Activities
Request that the person responsible for the reception’s music set aside a portion of the evening for kid-friendly songs that children are likely to recognize. Examples include songs from Disney movies and timeless pop songs like “Yellow Submarine” by the Beatles and “Fun, Fun, Fun” by the Beach Boys. Host a dance-off in which kids and parents are encouraged to compet, and arrange for at least one parent-child dance. Include the older children in the work of running the reception by handing them programs or serving trays filled with snacks to pass around to guests.
Enlist two or three other people to assist you in setting up and monitoring an activity booth for kids that includes craft supplies, coloring pages and chests full of wigs and costumes. Provide smocks or aprons to prevent them from staining their clothing. Arrange for them to have their pictures taken wearing their chosen hats and wigs at the reception photo booth. Provide entertainment for bookish and introverted young people by bringing in a small bookshelf full of classic and contemporary books for young readers.
If possible, bring children out from under the feet of their parents by setting up a place where they can play outside. Provide a jar of bubbles and enough wands for each child and lead them in bubble-blowing contests, with small prizes for the winners. Launch a scavenger hunt by leaving items such as candy and toys throughout the yard and giving them a list of clues or a map that leads them to each one in order. When they begin to grow tired, throw down blankets and pillows on the grass where they can collapse and rest.
- She Knows: Wedding Day Fun for Little Ones
- Paso Robles Weddings: Fun Things for Kids to Do at the Wedding and Reception
- PopSugar: 20 Fun Activities for the Littlest Wedding Guests
- Kid-Friendly Weddings: Keep Kids, Parents, Guests and the Bride Happy!
- Invitations by Dawn: Wedding Reception Activities for Kids
- Photo Credit omgimages/iStock/Getty Images
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