Keeping Your Kids Entertained at a Wedding
Keeping your children entertained at a wedding can be difficult. If the wedding invitation did not have the names of your children on it, the polite thing to do is hire a babysitter rather than bringing them. If their names were on the invitation and other children will be invited, odds are that the bride and groom have some kind of plan to keep the little ones occupied. However, it is always a good idea to have a backup plan.
Disposable cameras are a popular option. Since they have a limited amount of exposures and you will probably have a lot of pictures of feet, it is a better idea to let your child play with a digital camera so you can choose which photos to print. For around $10, you can find a key-chain digital camera that does not have a flash, so it is unobtrusive enough to be used during the ceremony and the reception. You might also want to check online and at thrift stores for an older digital camera, or let them play with your old family camera. Make the camera distraction go even further by creating a photo scavenger hunt list.
Smart phone applications will provide your children with countless solo games, movies and TV shows to occupy their time and focus their energy. Don’t forget the earphones!
Bag of Tricks
Pack a backpack with quiet activities such as books, toys that do not make noise or get thrown around, and playing cards. While you are at it, include some magic tricks and temporary tattoos that your child could use to help distract other children whose parents might be slightly less-prepared, and everyone will be singing your praises.
When hunger strikes, children get grumpy. Make sure you bring along a supply of foods that require little to no clean-up for during the ceremony and before food is served at the reception. Try packing Cheerios, Teddy Grahams, juice boxes, granola bars and fruit rolls.
Give your children a little project to work on like a drawing or a card for the bride and groom. Bring along a coloring book, crayons, markers and drawing paper. Girls in their younger teens might also enjoy making braided bracelets out of embroidery thread.
Walk it Out
There is usually a decent window of time between the wedding ceremony and reception. Use this excellent opportunity to burn up some of the energy that has built up during the ceremony. Go for a walk around the premises and see if you can find some swings to play on until the reception gets started.
Photograph by Crissie McDowell