Post # 1
We believe our guest list will include four children: ages seven, eleven, twelve, and thirteen. I’ve seen lots of ideas for children at a reception that would work for the seven-year-old, but the other three are more difficult.
The reception will be on a boat, but that will provide entertainment for only so long.
Some ideas I’ve had:
– Give them all new games for their Nintendo DSes. This is the lamest idea I’ve had and doesn’t fit with my values at all, but the best at deterring boredom I’ve come up with.
– Set up a board game table for them.
– Tip someone on the crew and have them get a behind-the-scenes tour. I haven’t asked the venue if this is an option yet, but another boat we considered had this offered on their website.
– Give them each binoculars, on a neck string, as favors. I’ve seen some that even take digital photos through the lenses.
I was 23 when I went to my first wedding, so have no personal experience to draw upon. I’ve certainly been bored as an adult guest at weddings where I didn’t know other guests, and can only imagine what it could be like with kids’ perspective on how time passes.
Post # 3
Tell them to swim home.
But seriously, don’t buy them DS games.
They’re on a boat!
Get them some T-shirts…and some flippy floppies…
If there’s more than one tween…they’ll find ways to entertain themselves. Set up a board game table. They don’t care about a tour, or binoculars. But please don’t spend money on DS games. Please. Too expensive.
Post # 4
@jsanford: I love the board game and tour ideas.
Also, devil’s advocate: I don’t know the kids in question (you know them much better and thus are probably aware of their tolerance), but I would also say that by 11 I would have HATED the idea of having to go to a kids activity at a formal event. 13 would have been right out of the question. They really may be old enough to just roll with the event like adults, enjoying the same stuff (particularly dancing, if you’re having it).
I had nieces, nephews and cousins in a similar demographic at my wedding, and they really did just entertain themselves. They danced, watched other people dance, got to do the bouquet and garter toss, and talked a lot to each other and to their relatives. They may have had iPads and DSes and stuff with them, but I honestly didn’t know or care.