Last week I shared a comprehensive guide to having children at your wedding covering everything from inviting them (or not as the case may be) to how to prep your littlest members of the bridal party for their walk down the aisle.
Today I wanted to share a few thoughts on creating a goody bag/activity pack for children to keep them entertained during dinner.
What to include in a child's activity pack
The aim is to provide toys and activities that aren't noisy and don't require close adult supervision, so avoid very small items as these can be choking hazards and steer clear of musical instruments...obviously!
You can get a lot of these items very inexpensively from your local pound shop / dollar shop?
Not sure if these actually exist in the US. Maybe head to Wallgreens!
Also bear in mind that some venues will have restrictions - if you're getting married at a heritage site or a fancy hotel you may want to avoid play doh and stickers as some commenters very wisely suggested below. Use your common sense and, if in doubt, check with your venue coordinator.
Children's Wedding Activity Pack (Ages 3-6)
A disposable camera - disposable cameras are so inexpensive these days, provide one for each child and let them click away. Or try out this genius 'scavenger hunt' idea. All you need is a list of things for the child to look out for during dinner eg. bridesmaids dancing.
A sketchbook and pencils/crayons (no felt tips or paint) - let the children get creative. If you decide to have a children's table, you could cover it with brown craft paper or rolls of thick white paper and let them draw on the table itself!
Activity book - you can buy pre-made activity books or make your own. You could include simple mazes, colouring pages and templates.
Finger Puppets - for a little imaginative and furry fun! You can buy finger puppets in sets of 5 (usually a more cost-effective option) or if you're feeling crafty you could create your own simple felt finger puppets.
Bubbles - a little pot of bubbles is always a winner!
Little pot of Play Doh - make sure whichever brand you choose that it's non toxic or you could always make your own it's easy, I promise. And make it's appropriate for your venue and that they are okay with it (please see the horror story in the comments below!).
A sticker book and stickers - farm / zoo / animal sticker books are suitable for boys and girls (or you could go for gender specific stickers but bear in mind that not all little girls are obsessed with princesses and not all little boys are obsessed with superheroes).
Treats - you would need to find out about the children's dietary requirements for this one. You could include fun size packets of Haribo or chocolates. Or healthy treats such as packets of grapes, carrots or apple slices.
Older Child's Wedding Activity Pack (6-11)
You can include all of the above (but with more challenging, age appropriate activity/sticker books).
Mini Puzzle (s) - this could be one of those tricky metal puzzles where you have to try and get the pieces unhooked, a rubix cube or a pin ball type game. Anything that requires a certain amount of concentration.
Scavenger Hunt Checklist - this simple DIY idea of using a disposable camera and a checklist to keep children entertained at weddings received a great response from parents and wedding professionals alike.
Retro Toys - such as spinning tops, yo yos and kaleidoscopes are also good choices for a wide variety of ages.
DIY Activity Books
You could opt for print at home activity books, filled with mazes, puzzles, colouring pages, dot to dots, blank templates eg. cakes/faces for children to fill in etc. and pop a set of crayons/colour pencils at each place setting (or in a container between two). There are a few reasonably priced activity kits on Etsy and this great book by The Wedding Of My Dreams:
The Wedding Of My Dreams via Not On The Highstreet
My wedding activity book of choice is this charming and FREE pdf from Lovely Indeed:
via Lovely Indeed
Pop all the goodies in a colourful pail, paper box or paper bag. To make it extra exciting to open you could pop some colourful tissue paper inside and sprinkle with glitter / confetti!
(But check it's okay with the venue as not all of them will allow confetti.)
Ready Prepared Activity Kits
If you haven't got time to source a variety of games and activities (or if you're more of a BUY than a DIY type) you could buy a ready made kid's activity kit. Here is a very reasonably priced option at £2.59 which comes in gender specific goody bags:
by Cocoon Party
Another more expensive option (with more variety) is this set for £22.50 :
by Yo-Yo Me via Not On The High Street
Whether you decide to BUY or DIY, activity packs are sure to keep little ones happy and occupied for a speech or two!
If you found this useful, I suggest heading over to my previous post on keeping children entertained at weddings for lots more ideas.
Have you got any suggestions on things to include in a child's activity bag or box at a wedding?