How to Entertain Children at Weddings
While us adults tend to love watching the romance of the vows, catching up with pals at the drinks reception and giggling our way through the speeches, for little ones (and especially teenagers) the day can be less than entertaining. Let’s take a look at what you can do to make the day stress-free for you, enjoyable for the parents, and of course fun for the youngsters.
Outdoor fun to entertain children at weddings
As a tipi and marquee hire company we get to see some absolutely wonderful outdoor set-ups and if you ask us, an outdoor wedding makes it way easier to entertain children than if you are restricted by an indoor space. We love to see the personal touches that our couples add to their venues and marquees and we’ve seen some great ideas. You can hire giant lawn games that are great fun for children and adults alike. Think giant jenga, connect four, noughts and crosses, pick up sticks and quoits! You could even have a little dedicated area with the miniature versions (well, normal size) which the children may actually find more manageable depending on their age. Another option, but one that will need a bit of supervision is a piñata. They are decorated cardboard figures, usually in the shape of animals, that are filled with sweets. String one up, blindfold each player and get them to take it in turns to try and break it open using a piñata buster, a broom stick or a bat (see why supervision is needed now)?!
Kids Photo Booth
Photo booths have gained popularity in recent years, and while there are lots of professional options that can be hired, it’s easy to create a homemade version to keep the cost down. Children love fancy dress and they love looking at photos of themselves so this is a win-win option that will keep them entertained for hours! If you’re setting one up for your grown up guests anyway, then why not either have a dedicated children’s photo booth, or simply add a kids box with masks and accessorises featuring some of their favourite TV and film characters.
Photo treasure hunt for children
This one will rely on a grown-up handing over their smart phone so each child has a camera, but it’s amazing what parents will do to enjoy an uninterrupted glass of fizz. Create a tick list of things they need to capture a snap of – the bride and groom kissing, the wedding cake, a bouquet of flowers, the bridesmaid’s shoes… this will keep them entertained and you might even get a few fun pics for your album!
Craft corner for kids at weddings
The first thing to stress here is NO PAINT! Think pads of paper with crayons, or why not cover a table so they can scribble away until their hearts are content! If you have a mixture of ages you could also get some jewels, stickers and other mess-free craft supplies to keep everyone occupied.
DVD/ Chill out area
If you have older children or teenagers who don’t need supervision you may want to create a special area just for them. Some couples choose to hire out our Kungsornen – our smaller chill-out tipi. We’ve seen it filled with bean bags and a TV but you could also set up board games, crafts, video games and a mocktail bar.
Mobile farms or furry friends
If you aren’t restricted by budget then you may even want to look at having some animals on site to keep the children at your wedding entertained! From £245, Dorset based Happy Yard will bring alpacas to your wedding for petting, selfies and even walking! Or how about an owl and raptor display, a pony party (think wedding guests in the way of Shetland ponies) a creepy crawly show or furry friends (bunnies and guinea pigs)! One thing is for sure though… it won’t just be the kids they’re a hit with! Just make sure you check with your venue first!
Bouncy Castle – not just for kids
To help burn off some of their enviable energy, hiring a bouncy castle can be a real winner. Loved by big kids and little it will provide some fun for all ages – just make sure you keep tipsy adults off until the kids session is over – things can get a little boisterous and you want to avoid any accidents!
We absolutely love the offering by Wedding Crecherz. They will come to your venue and set up a bespoke play space to keep the children at your wedding happy and entertained! All games, toys, activities and equipment are included, creating areas that children will find irresistible. Whether you need a room in an indoor venue organising, a separate bell tent or simply a quiet corner during the speeches or ceremony, they can help!
For the ultimate way to take care of your tiny guests and allow their folks to really let their hair down, then consider a wedding crèche or nanny. Nova Event Childcare cover Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey and West Sussex and offer tailored childcare to suit your needs. Perhaps you need early morning babysitting to keep bridesmaids and pageboys entertained while the wedding party are getting ready. Or maybe a fully resourced crèche through the day including magicians and face painters – these guys can organise it. They will even stay on into the evening to create a quiet area with pop up beds and travel cots so the kids can wind down as the party is getting started. We chatted to Justine from Nova who told us that one of the huge benefit is that “children get to be part of the wedding celebration but will also have lots of activities to do and things to play with so they don’t get fed up in the more boring bits for children”. If you are planning to invite children to your wedding but slightly nervous they will interrupt proceedings, it’s well worth considering professional childcare. Justine goes on to say “whilst children are in the wedding crèche or being cared for by a wedding nanny, the parents can enjoy the wedding breakfast and speeches in the knowledge that there will be no interruptions from fractious, bored little ones”. Nova’s most popular package a fully equipped crèche for ten children including two members of staff three hours and costs £450. They will be able to provide you with a bespoke package tailored to your needs and budget.
We hope this has helped you think of some fun ways to keep your younger guests entertained so that everyone can enjoy your special day. When you are deciding on children’s activities for your wedding it is important to consider how much supervision they will need so that children know if they need to remain in sight and away from roads and water.
While we haven’t worked with the featured companies and are in no way affiliated with them, we have heard great things about them.