Pillow forts and welcome bags: 12 ways to entertain kids at your wedding #Reception Advice#board games#games#kids#lawn games Updated Aug 20 2021 (Posted Aug 28 2015) Catherine Clark bijouxandbits Photo by Bri McDaniel Photography Related Post Kids plot their grand wedding escape: a bedtime story Once upon a time, in a land of tulle and sequins, young children donned tight suits and itchy dresses. They bumped into legs on dance... Read more Having a kid-friendly wedding but don't want all your parent guests to have to miss out on adult wedding fun? Here are some hacks to keep the kiddos entertained, happy, not hangry, and able to nap if needed. Actually, that sounds like what adults might like, too, now that we mention it. Mmm… mid-party nap. Anyway, let's get to the kid-friendly fun! Thanks to Ruth Madeleine for uploading this shot to our Flickr Pool Game centerpieces Having kick-ass, kid-friendly centerpieces will encourage kids to make their own fun right at the table. Ruby & Martin's kid-friendly wedding. Photo by Maisy Carr Kids welcome bag/lunch boxes Related Post Yes, there will be children at the wedding Tamu wrote a wedding update about her experience with having a child-friendly wedding. Her first-hand experience with a wedding full of kids could help others... Read more In lieu of game/activity centerpieces, you could provide each child with their own little welcome bag with favors, coloring books, crayons, or whatever fun tidbits they might like. Tent by Snail Candy Napping tent/pillow forts The reality of most weddings is that kids may end up past their bedtime after a long day of overstimulation. Cue the napping pillow forts! Just try to keep the adults from crashing in there first. Camera scavenger hunt Related Post Use Minglo to get wedding guests of all types to know each other When we shared Ariel's awesome Minglo party idea (mingling + bingo) over on Offbeat Home, Homie Marina told us she used this idea with great... Read more Disposable cameras (or just checkbox-style) can make for an awesome I-Spy game. Feel free to use our Minglo printable templates to make this super easy. Shawnooke's Star Trek activity books. Photo by Katie L. Wright Activity books Check out this wedding coloring sheet from Lisa and Bill's '80s-themed wedding and this huge activity book from Nick and Melaina's wedding. You absolutely don't have to create your own, but if you've got the time, give it a go. Otherwise, stock up on coloring/activity books from your local dollar store. Jenna and Jason's wedding. Photos by Pink Light Images Games We've covered so many types of games in past years that I'm just going to leave our archives here. So many ideas, so little time! Think video games, board games, lawn games… whatever fits your venue best. Lawn games Board games Video games Book/movie corner If you've got a space that's slightly quieter at your venue, feel free to bring in a laptop for movies and a stack of books to entertain the more low-key kids. Kid-friendly foods Related Post Slushies, food trucks, and brunch: 10 delicious ways to make your wedding food fun We recently listed out 13 ways to make your reception more fun, but the REAL way to your guests's hearts is through their stomachs, right?... Read more For their kid-friendly wedding, Joy said that a friend of theirs cut out heart-shaped PBJs, a little nod to make the kiddos feel extra welcome. Grab some heart-shaped cookie cutters and spruce up those sammies. Other options for kid foods include candy buffets, finger foods, dippable veggies, s'mores, cake pops, and popsicles. Photo by Nick Doll Kids favors and photo booth props This is your opportunity to snag a bunch of glow necklaces, "yay" flags, ribbon wands, and other fun toys for little and big kids alike. Lori and Desi said this about their props for the kids: There were daisies, crazy glasses, mustaches, Pez dispensers, butterflies, glow-sticks, swords, crazy straws, and pinwheels. Annie and Kyle's picnic wedding. Photo by Taymin Kane Professional entertainers Have a cushier budget? Invest in a magician, a non-creepy clown, a musical act, balloon animal maker, face painter, hypnotist, ventriloquist, or caricaturist. Hire babysitters Do what Earhya and Robert did and hire a wedding babysitter to keep the kiddos wrangled. Grab a pair of your favorite, responsible teenagers or go with some hired pros. Either way, you'll be letting your guests relax a wee bit more than they would have otherwise. And that's never a bad thing. Catherine Clark Catherine Clark loiters at her local library, makes art, watches movies en masse, plays video and tabletop games, poorly cooks healthy things, cuddles with her feline fur babies, and blogs at BijouxandBits.com. PREVIOUS MadLibs with offbeat wedding shoes: Let's imagine what weddings go with these shoes… NEXT Our GIANT list of important questions to ask wedding venues Show/Hide comments [ 3 ] Whatever you do: Provide at least some activities that individual kids can choose to do by themselves (like the coloring books, 1-player games, etc). Have pair/group stuff too but do not force the kids to entertain or play with each other. This is hell on the quiet and socially inept kids. (Love, a grown-up quiet socially inept kid) Reply I had a morning church wedding, with reception in church hall. About 20 kids under 8 attended my wedding. I had a kids table set up near the "back" of the hall, but still close enough for parents to keep and eye on them. Each setting had a chocolate milk and goldfish crackers. Instead of flower centerpieces, I made up little baskets with crayons and small toys like army men and tops. I covered the long table in butcher paper, printed out "wedding" coloring sheets for the kids to color. There was plenty of extra seating so parents and grandparents could sit with the kids. After the wedding I got a lot of comments from friends who said the kids tables looked like more fun than the regular tables, and wished they had sat there instead. Reply There are a lot of great ideas here but I would also advise anyone planning activities or welcome bags for kids to bear in mind the different ages of the kids attending your wedding. It's definitely easier and probably more affordable to create the same thing for everyone but a 10-year-old might be mortified to be seen with a coloring book and crayons if preschoolers at the table are using them too (this will not always be true but it's something to keep in mind). Maybe items for the older kids like Mad Libs, card games (Uno), would be good. Somewhat related but please please please sit younger children with their parents or at least allow extra chairs at the kids' table, like Cass suggested above, and have a reasonable age cut-off for the kids' table. My brother and I were 16 and 17 respectfully when we were put at the kids' table at our cousins' wedding. It was us and a bunch of kids under 10 who were extremely rowdy and we were both so embarrassed to be seated there. I'm sure seating charts are not easy but the younger kids really needed their parents anyway (they had to keep coming by despite there not being any room for them) and my brother and I ended up feeling upset with our cousin, whose wedding it was, for lumping us with them. And I like kids! But at 17 I was totally miffed that we didn't make the tables with our older sister and cousins. It's easy to simply refer to your youngest guests as "the kids" but remember that age gaps can make a big difference in how they'll react to your activities/offerings. 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