Children are often overlooked when planning a wedding reception. They are perhaps the most important guests to accidently forget about…never underestimate the scale of tantrum a tired/bored/hungry child can throw. This is often the reason parents leave the reception earlier than they would of liked to, so making sure kids are kept contented will ultimately benefit everyone.
To ensure your little guests are kept happy on the day, here’s some great ideas.
Young children can be extremely picky, so simplicity is key. Why not try a new twist on a typical kids menu? Finger foods are perfect for little hands and allow for more variety.
You can make miniature versions of children’s food favourites, such as hot dogs and burgers, or something more unique like bite size spaghetti and meatballs.
Skewers are also great, almost anything can be skewered so they’re really versatile! Children enjoy interacting with what they eat so these are perfect. For a really healthy option, try rainbow fruit skewers.
Another really easy snack for kids are sandwhich pops! Buy some lollipop sticks (loads online) and simply poke them through the completed sandwhich so it rests on top as a lollipop would. It’s a manageable portion for younger children and you can create some really cute shapes with a cookie cutter.
Kids can often feel left out during the toasts, so give them something special to clink! Milk and cookie cocktails look amazing and are perfect for young children.
Or what about jelly drinks? These are so easy to make and kids love them. Try adding fruit or sweets to make it more interesting. You may even want to tailor the colour of the jelly to match your wedding colour scheme!
Mocktails are also a great option for children and teenagers as they look just like a typical cocktail, minus the alcohol. For extra flair, you can add sparklers, fruit or frost the rim of the cocktail glass with sugar. Yum!
For young children we recommend serving these in acrylic glasses to avoid any accidents.
Keeping children entertained at your reception is key. Occupied children give parents a chance to relax and enjoy the festivities without worrying what their little darlings are up to. If you plan to have a lot of children at you may want to consider hiring a wedding nanny or entertainer.
To keep kids quiet during the dinner service, make sure the children’s table is a fun place to be! A visually engaging table setting will make them want to stay seated rather than wander around whilst adult guests are still eating. However we would not recommend seating children under 5 at the children’s table unless they have an older sibling to supervise them.
A great thing to do is create a fun place setting for each child. This makes them feel valued and you can make them gender and age specific. Children’s place settings should include crayons, activity books, bubbles, sweets and simple toys such as yo-yos. It is also good to have a few travel size board games dotted about, they’re really fun and encourage children who are unfamiliar with each other to mix. One important thing to remember is not to include small objects in case of choking.
A disposable camera is also an interesting item to include; children aren’t often trusted with digital cameras so this allows them to join in taking pictures and keeps them entertained.
One of the cheapest and most effective options is to have a chill out room at your venue, with a TV and DVD player. Parent’s can use this room if their children need some time out in a quiet environment, and popping a Disney film on the box is a sure fire way to settle any grumbles!
Remember, although you want ensure children are entertained, it is not your sole responsibility. Parents should be prepared to monitor their children during the reception and take care of any needs, as well as be on hand to tackle a tantrum.