Hosting a kid-friendly reception often means worrying about ways to keep the kids occupied while adults do their “boring” adult stuff, like enjoying a delicious meal, dancing and generally having a great time. But with a few simple ideas, you can keep your pint-sized reception guests just as happy as the adults.
For notoriously picky little ones, you might want to opt for a separate menu offering kid favorites like chicken fingers, french fries, mac and cheese, hot dogs and applesauce. If you want to do it buffet style, make a platter of several different options and include fun finger foods like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into dinosaur and butterfly shapes.
If you are having an activity table or dinner table specifically for the kids, Martha Stewart Weddings recommends foregoing the flowers and picking a palette-friendly shade of mini cotton candy sticks as centerpieces.
There are several options for keeping kids engaged so everyone can enjoy the night. Replace the fancy tablecloth on the kids’ tables with craft paper. Provide the kids with crayons, colored pencils and stamps with ink pads – if they think they can break the rules by coloring on the “tablecloths,” they’re guaranteed to be interested. Another fun option is to use personalized ribbon to make homemade “ribbon dancers” – long rolls of ribbon connected to a wood dowel that can be waved like wands to make really fun designs.
Kids don’t even like fancy things, so don’t bother. Instead, present the children with personalized goodie bags filled with dollar store trinkets and toys that they can play with during the reception. Look for things like toy cars, mini activity pads, action figures, silly putty, bubbles and puzzles that pint-sized people will appreciate.
Fun for everyone
Photo booths (homemade or professional) are all the rage these days – and for good reason. Little kids, big kids and even bigger kids – the adults – all enjoy putting on silly costumes and faces for pictures. A photo booth can make your day personable and memorable.
You might also hire a balloon artist or magician to visit each reception table. This will be a special treat for kids and adults alike. If you’re having an outdoor reception, a special end-of-the-night activity could be to provide everyone with sparklers in customized sparkler sleeves to send the newlyweds off on their honeymoon in style.