5 Top Tips for Entertaining Kids at a Wedding
Updated: Oct 5, 2018
Who doesn't like kids at a wedding?! Ok, then, for those of you that do, or maybe have to have the kids at the wedding, then read on. Don't worry, even for those who have to, it'll be just fine and to your surprise their cuteness in their outfits will have everyone oohing and aahing and will look great in the wedding photos. They won't steal your thunder, just enhance it!
As I mentioned in Children's Fun and Favours at Rustic Weddings, we brought 13 kids to my wedding. They were all our nieces and nephews. It was such an enjoyable sight to see them all playing and the younger ones looking adorable. Being lucky enough to have a large garden and a very all inclusive family wedding, we went with option 5 below, i.e. big cousins and fairy godmothers! But that was before kids entertainment and activity kits were a thing. There's so many "things" that are a thing now, that were not even considered 5 or 10 years ago. The mind boggles!
Top Tips for Kids Fun at your Wedding
Space to Play
My number one, top tip, if you want to include kids in your wedding, is to give them space to play and be a child with other children. This doesn’t have to be the generous gardens and adventurous woodlands but they should know they have a space thats theirs to roam. If the children are confined to indoor spaces, why not make a den for them to “own”. Put up a sign that says, “Kids Only!”. Job done. You’ve now given them a space that’s theirs, where they can make their own memories.
If you do have an outside space, then leave out some outdoor games or toys or jars to collect some leaves, pinecones, or even insects! I'd refrain from bringing bats, hurleys or hard balls along. I nearly lost an eye at my own wedding ... and my groom hit the ball at ME!
Get Crafty the Easy Way!
My second piece of advice is to break up their play. I don’t mean scheduling or structuring their play necessarily! I’m all for free play with a little guidance! I mean, that after running around and making friends with other little ones, they will either get tired or bored with the same activity. This is why it’s great to have something on hand for them to do – no, not the iPad!!
Sometimes the play happens organically - my favourite kind so long as its not crazy or distracting to other guests. Better still, give them something they can create and play with themselves, without their parents having to look after them and do it for them. Craft kits are perfect for this. No sourcing of bits and pieces to entertain the kids. All you need in one bag/box. Every child needs some chill out time and every parent needs some space to enjoy their day too. Once kids have something creative to do they are better behaved and quieter too!
See this video of Flutter Tree Wedding Kits being put together
Flutter Tree Creative Play Kits are great to keep them entertained before, during or after the meal. They come in eco-friendly drawstring bags so can be brought anywhere for on-the-go-fun. The pieces are interchangeable from kit to kit so the kids can swap pieces around. Once built they can use their imagination to play with their kits in their wonderland in their heads! If their friends or siblings have a kit too, they can mix and match the pieces for even more fun, i.e. more time for their parents to stay on the dance floor!
Flutter Tree Wedding Favour themed kits have been designed specifically for weddings and a special keepsake for the children at the wedding of the couple's big day. Each kit can be personalised with the couples' initials and wedding date.
They make great imaginative play, and give the kids a sense of achievement that they made something all by themselves. Flutter Tree kits are perfect for these moments. They let the children build, colour and decorate their kit so that its personal to them, no two kits will be the same when they finish!
They can decide when they are ready to create, then they can go back to running around, and then back to play with their creation.
Hey! Not my job anymore!
You could also make the day easy on yourself. Let someone else look after the children's entertainment. There are many children's entertainment groups from childminders to activity facilitators. Some come to your wedding, set up an area for kids to play in and comfort the little ones as they need it. These are particularly great for small children, even the babies get a childminder! They give the parents peace of mind to enjoy the evening knowing their child is well looked after by trained professionals. See Fun n Frills for an oh-so-cute setup for the little ones to occupy themselves.
Fun n Frills will look after the little ones. They provide IRELAND’S ONLY In Room Children’s Activity Area. Beautifully designed and set up within the view of parents in your function room
Hire a Magician or Illusionist
Magicians too offer a very entertaining service for young and old! You might have the parent's sneaking off to see what Carl the Magician is up to!! Magicians like Carl, who've been on the scene for a while are a dab hand at keeping the kids occupied. They can offer dual purpose entertainment by looking after the kids fun while the adults enjoy their meal and entertaining the adults before or after the meal. A good magician can win over any crowd and get the conversation and the laughs flowing. You want your guests to be up for a good boogie later on.
Check out Carl the Magician for a very wonderful children's magic show. "Carl Campbell is a full time professional kids magician based in Dublin with over ten years experience performing at children’s parties. Carl really does love what he does and his amazing kids magic show really can add wow factor to your next kids party or event" From http://www.magiccarl.ie/
Your very own Fairy Godmother/Godfather!
The ultra cost-effective and maybe most effective way of keeping the kids busy and happy is their very own Pied Piper or Fairy Godmother/Godfather! Their cousin, an older friend, or even your friend(s) are often the best people around to make sure everyone is happy. Of course they'll need something to do/draw/colour/make/watch but as long as they're happy to do it and the kids are happy to stay with them it's a win-win for all concerned. So for that bit see Flutter Tree Creative Play Kits for something creative and imaginative for your star helper to give out to the kids! Depending on the relationship and circumstance with this wonderful person, a very nice gift or cash might be just the right way to say thank you! That bit is a must!!
Article by Deirdre Walsh. Creator, designer and owner of Flutter Tree