When planning your wedding there is always the 'should or shouldn't we invite kids' debate. Firstly, if you want a child-free wedding, then that is okay, you do you! If you are inviting kids then you may need to think about keeping them entertained; it is a long day (and in all honestly, not much fun for the little ones!). Here are my top suggestions for keeping children entertained and most of these ideas you would be looking at from aged 3 to 12 years old.
This is a fairly inexpensive way of keeping kids busy, you can either give them out during the drinks reception or pop them on their place settings during the wedding breakfast. Kimberly, the Owner of Little Wedding Creche suggests activity packs from Keep Them Quite.com: "They have amazing activity packs that are even fit for the royals, filled with lots of bits and bobs to keep your little guests entertained during your wedding breakfast". This a great option as they have books, colouring, activities, toys and even snacks - way better than the average activity pack, and it all comes in a little reusable rucksack.
A separate table for children is a great idea during dinner when you have slightly older children; put them together and they are likely to have more fun sitting with friends and others their own age. With young children, you may not want to sit them too far away from the parents, as some parents may prefer their little ones to stay close so they can keep an eye on them. For older kids, the kids' table is definitely an idea to consider, and most pre-teen/young teenagers would certainly love to be away from their 'embarrassing' parents for a bit. Also, make sure your caterers know they are catering for children too, so can share the children's menus with your younger guests.
Consider kids' entertainers such as magicians, balloon or bubble artists, face painters or Disney Princesses. Some companies provide children's entertainers to play games with children such as treasure hunts, playing 'what's the time Mr Wolf', crafting or dancing games. If your wedding is taking place in a countryside venue with lots of open space then perhaps den-making, wacky races or a bouncy castle could work (let's face it, a bouncy castle is fun for adults too!). This type of entertainment is perfect during your drinks reception as kids don't want to just stand around chatting, which is usually the gist of the drinks reception.
Chill out / kids' zone
This could be created in a standalone tent for an outdoor wedding or a separate room in your wedding venue. Soft play, bubble machines or fun tipis and toys for toddlers are a great shout. If you have young ones you can turn it from a fun kids' zone in the day to somewhere cosy during the evening where they can have some downtime after a long day. You could buy or hire beanbags, iPads, a screen or projector to play movies, and get the blankets and popcorn out.
If you have the budget for it and lots of children to keep entertained, then you could even set up a kids' disco in a separate room or take place before all the grown-ups hit the dance floor. Lots of fun lights, a bubble machine and fun songs for kids to dance to will help them burn off the last of their energy from the day.
This is the most amazing, game-changing type of wedding business; you can hire a team (who bring all the equipment) to look after the kids ALL DAY. This would include basically everything in points 3 and 4 of this blog and beyond. Little Wedding Creche has a few packages that provide childcare staff with experience, they are also all DBS checked and first aid trained. They will play with and entertain your kids during the day much like a childminder or nanny does, bringing toys, activities, entrainment - you name it! As evening comes, they can create a pop-up cinema, sleep tents, blow-up beds, bedding and a sleeping area with calming night lights and soothing music for little ones. So, mums and dads won't have to worry about leaving the party early, an absolutely winning idea all around!
I hope this has helped and filled you with ideas and inspiration to keep your little guests entertained and make sure they (and their parents) enjoy your wedding day too. If you need wedding planning help, then you can in touch with me here.
Photography by Emis Weddings