(Closed) Ideas for a kid friendly wedding reception?

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

such a kind gesture for your wedding party! the kid’s area is a good idea, but one thing to keep in mind is that young kids, especially when surrounded by strangers, don’t usually like being separated from their parents. i think “hiring” a girl or two is a good idea — they can distract the kids so that they’re comfortable without their parents, and the parents can have a good time on the dance floor without having to hover over their kids.

Post # 5
281 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We made up little goodie bags for the kids (mostly 3-7 year olds) with a small packet of crayons, an activity book I made, glow in the dark bracelets my mom found somewhere very cheap and some taffy we used or the adult favors.  The activity books had a bunch clip art for coloring, and a word search, crossword, and jumble I made up.  It kept the kids entertained when they were at dinner.  We even got some of the books at the end of the day from the kids.  🙂  And the parents appreciated that we thought of the kids too.  We did a few other things also, to give away the centerpieces, we played hot potato with a beanie baby (and to keep little ones from being upset, there were enough for each of the kids) and because of a miscommunication with our cake baker, we ended up with 15-20 8 inch cakes that were bought when we thought there wasn’t going to ba a cake, so the kids played musical chairs on the dance floor and everyone got a cake (multiple kid parents weren’t so fond of that one. :-P). 

Post # 6
284 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We are having a dedicated kids table or two at the reception…we will seat the kids with their parents during dinner, etc., so the kids table(s) will be just set up with crafts, etc. until after dinner, and then the kids will be able to go over there once dinner is over. We are getting married in October, and having a fall/rustic themed reception. So the kids table(s) will follow suit. Their centerpiece will be a small candy buffet, and they will have lots of crafts that we have ordered from Oriental Trading and other similar sites. We are also getting adult sized tee shirts to leave at the table so the kids can put over their clothes in leui of smocks–so they don’t mess up their clothes. We too will have somewhere between 15-20 kids ranging in age from 6 months to 12 years old.

Post # 7
591 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Our venue has a room off the main reception area for a kid’s room that has a big screen tv along with a kids only buffet with things kids like to eat. I am going to put together kid packs with things for them to do like coloring and crafts.

Post # 8
646 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Like others have said, you could have all the kids seated together. One weddng I attended had a special kid’s “centerpiece” with lots of games, toys, etc and a paper table cloth so the kids could color.

I saw another bride on one of the boards offer a “pizze and slumber party” at the home of a close friend of the family who wasn’t attending the wedding.

I think hiring a couple of high school girls to keep an eye on and play with the kids is a great idea. Maybe the kids won’t be hard to keep track of, but if I were a parent, I would enjoy being able to relax a little bit…

Post # 9
222 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

We are making up “goodie bags” as well to give to children at the guest book table.  They will include crayons, play-doh, coloring books, maybe a few smaller (non noisy) toys.  Hopefully these will occupy the kids until after the speeches are over & than they can be ready to dance the night away!

Post # 10
1844 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

  My friend did a candy bag toss for the kids at her wedding…similar to tossing the bouquet or the garter. She had a bunch of little bags of candy made up. The DJ played a song and called all the kids up to the dance floor. They had enough bags made up so each kid got one. That was really cute!

Post # 11
2829 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

What about hitting up your local goodwill or thrift stores for ‘all-ages’ [4+] toys like legos and whatnot for the older kids?You may be able to find duplo if you’re more comfortable with that.

You can have the kids make paper bag hand puppets with gluesticks/paper and crayons.

If I think of anything else I’ll come back and let you know.


 goodie bags sound like a great idea!

Post # 13
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I got the coolest kid’s idea ever from a wedding planner I asked about this- have a caricature artist draw a picture of you and your groom, and make photocopies of it for the kids to color!  I’m super excited about it, I think they’ll love it!  =)

Also, I was having the same concern about parents taking advantage if the kid’s area was supervised, so we’re not having anyone. I personally think it’s going above and beyond to have an area dedicated to entertaining the kids, so the parents can do their part and keep an eye on them (and if they don’t want to, then they shouldn’t be bringing them!).

Post # 15
489 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I think we’ll definitely end up with some kind of goodie bags.  Other than that, kids are just going to be sitting with their parents, and we’ll leave it up to the parents to keep them entertained 🙂

Post # 16
374 posts
Helper bee

All ideas great!  Here’s my 2 cents!

All children sit with parents for dinner.  That space is left open for them all evening.  It’s their seat.

Have a designated area in the same hall w/the reception with tables set w/arts and crafts.  Have a ‘menu’ of activities.  6:00 Dinner; 7:00 balloon anikmals; 7:30 popsicle stick sun catchers; 8:00 musical chairs, 8:30 paper plate masks; 9:00 children’s dance contest; etc.

Oriental Trading sells canvas shopping bags at a good price, or try a dollar store.  Each child will have a bag and as they make their ‘stuff’ it goes in the bag to go home.  Or more cost effective every child gets a paper shopping bag w/their name on it, and when they make something, inside the bag it goes so pass to the parents to take home.

DO NOT HIRE KIDS you coach as tempting as that may be.  You will set those kids you hire apart from the rest and that’s not appropriate.  That crosses the line professionally.  Hire two people.  What about the Arts and Crafts teacher at the school?  or the town elementary school?  What about a student teacher?  College kids always need money.

IMO, you should not have a designated room where kids leave the reception where their parents are.  In case of a fire, or accident, that is a responsibility you don’t want on someone else to clear out frantic kids.  IMO, sugar, late night, excitement can create tears, but it may also generate small fights…”that was mine and you took it!”  Someone may push someone.  Someone may fall off the bed…youdon’t think they won’t jump, do you?!  Kids won’t like leaving their parents anyway and will keep asking “can I go see my mom now?” and will create more havoc for the care providers if they are in different spaces.  These kids are young.  A happy kid means a happy parent.

Plus, you run the risk of being accountable for whomever you hire so it’s best the adult in charge never leaves the room w/ a kid.  If a kid has to go potty, let mama or dad take him/her 

Candy and soda will make them crazy; so try to serve pretzels, popcorn and juice –although juice has sugar too. 

You can have a kids dance contest where everyone wins….There is that Oriental Trading Company which has so many great things very inexpensive…they also have crafts…but can begin to get pricey. 

Save the candy for their trip home….they can line up with the care provider and as the party is ending they can start filling their little bags or boxes.  Try getting things which are wrapped and tell the kids they can have 10 pieces of anything they want! Trust me, it will take an hour to decide.  They will end up trading and changing their minds.  Trust me!  If you give them limitless candy it won’t be as much fun.  You can always have the care provider say, “OK, OK, you can take 15!!!”  And then they’ll take even more time to find and select the extra candy.

Go to a candy warehouse, or stock up when you see sales.  Candy is made one year in advance so don’t worry about stock piling 6 months ahead.  For example, after Easter sales are great if you can find candy that isn’t wrapped in spring colors [unless they match your wedding colors] or in the shape of rabbits…


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