Ways To “Wow” Kids At Your Reception

Kids; you can’t live with them but you can’t exclude them from your wedding. Sure, you could put an “adults only, please” on your invitation.  But that means your friends and relatives with kids will have to take on the effort and expense of hiring a babysitter. Some of them may not be able to attend and could hold a grudge for years, and a few are bound to turn up with their children no matter what the invitation says. So we recommend embracing having pint-sized wedding guests. With a few minor (no pun intended) adjustments, they can have fun and you can still have your perfect day. Here are a few ways to delight children at your wedding.

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Lego Favors

You probably have a delightful wedding favor planned for your guests. But the children in attendance won’t have much use for a monogrammed bottle opener or handmade soap. Instead, give them a favor that will keep them occupied through the long wait for service at the reception. We recommend Lego “Mixels”; they’re cute little Lego creature kits that take about a half hour to assemble, with enough pieces to allow for creativity, but not so many that they’ll end up all over the reception venue.

“Kids Only” Dance Time

Celebrate the kids at your wedding by leaving the dance floor for a few songs and letting the Rugrats take over. Have the DJ play some kid-friendly music and let the tots get down with their bad selves. They’ll have fun lighting up the dance floor, and everyone else will enjoy watching them go crazy.

Activity Briefcase

Enlist the help of a few bridesmaids or friends to put together little activity kits for the kids in attendance, to help fill the boring (to kids) time after dinner and before the dancing. Think coloring books, activity books, maybe even a paper craft. For the most part, kids only act up when they’re bored. Stave off the boredom and you’re likely to have an uninterrupted cake-cutting and toasting ceremony.

Ball Pit

Your reception plans may already include a ball pit–after all, you don’t have to be a kid to think ball pits are awesome–but if they don’t, consider including one for the kids. Most party rental places have an inflatable ball pit for rental. It’s cheaper than a bounce house and takes up less real estate, but is no less awesome for kids and grownups alike. The kids will have fun with it, and you’ll be able to get some great pictures of the bridal party swimming around in there, too.

Wedding Sparklers

Though some parents may not be into this idea, you’d be hard-pressed to find a kid that won’t absolutely adore this idea. Consider handing out sparklers to all of the kids so they can have a little outdoor fun while running off some of that extra energy from the wedding cake. The key here is that you need to closely supervise them and have the other parent’s permission. You can always use a sparkler alternative it the other parents won’t allow their kids to use the real thing, but there really isn’t a substitute for actual wedding sparklers.

Chill Zone

As the reception goes on past bedtimes, kids are likely to start whining. Or worse, they’ll just sit, groggy, clearly overstimulated and exhausted but determined to put a brave face on it. It’s heartbreaking. Before the kids start getting that thousand-yard stare, shuffle them off to a “chill zone.” It just needs to be a spot somehow set off from the rest of the venue, whether it’s just tucked in a corner or actually cordoned off with a sheet or screen. Wherever your chill zone is, provide blankets, pillows, and a TV loaded with Disney movies for kids to fall asleep to.

We know that some people just aren’t into kids, and that’s totally all right. But we submit that there are no truly awful kids, just bad planning. With a little pre-planning, you’ll be able to keep the kids smiling and having a great time while the grown-ups go about their partying.