Make Your Chicago Wedding Child Friendly

If you’ve ever been to a wedding reception with a lot of small children, you know that they like to start the evening by thrashing around the room as though it were a giant pinball machine, bumping into everything they can, knocking things over, and making the adult guests spill their cocktails. Have I described the scene properly?

The truth is, kids will be kids; and with proper guidance and supervision, and a little advance planning, you can offer activities that keep them engaged and happy. Here are a few suggestions:

If possible, set aside an activity room for the kids, with one adult chaperone for every five kids.

Personalized coloring books. With washable crayons and markers. Kids love to color. Here’s an example of what one of our couples created for the children at their wedding.

Activity books. There are all sorts of them available online or at local party supply stores. They include activities like Connect the Dots, I Spy, mazes and other imaginative pursuits.

Pipe cleaners. Give each child at least 20 brightly colored pipe cleaners, and let him use his imagination to create all sorts of unique characters.

“Clean” clay. A child can spend hours molding clay into creative shapes, then starting over and making new shapes. But be sure it’s the kind of clay that can easily wash out of clothing.

Magic slates. Whether it’s an Etch-a-Sketch, a white board with washable dry-erase markers, or some other form of slate, it’ll engage a child like nothing else.

Balloons. Always popular with kids. But again, they require adult supervision to avoid accidents.

Stickers. A sheet of assorted stickers always brings out the artist in a child.

Treats. A small party bag full of activities should also include some candies, and perhaps a cookie.

Video games, or arcade games if your venue has a game room. Resort hotels, and several local banquet halls, have arcade rooms for younger guests. This one is at White Eagle Banquets in Niles.

Hire a balloon artist for an hour.

Hire a children’s musician for a sing-along.

Show an animated movie on DVD.

When the kids rejoin the adults for dinner, include them in the toasts by offering them a special “cookies and milk” toast.

During dancing, encourage your DJ to play one or two special children’s dances, like the Chicken Dance or the Hokey Pokey. And Mom and Dad, get out there on the dance floor with your kids. It’ll be a great memory for them.

Some smart planning, and a little supervision, can make your wedding reception a joyful occasion for guests of all ages!

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2014 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.

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