How Do You Entertain Children At A Wedding (Ideas For Kids)

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“How do you entertain children at a wedding?” is a question that consumes many couples as they plan their big day.

As an experienced wedding photographer and planner, I’ve witnessed over 500 weddings in my 15-year career, and I can assure you that keeping kids happily engaged isn’t as challenging as it seems.

This blog post is designed to ease your worries. It’s packed with practical strategies that can turn the thought of restless children running around unsupervised on your wedding day into an opportunity for fun, laughter, and memorable moments.

Below, you will find some of my favorite ideas for kids that I have seen at some previous weddings:

A flower girl looking bored at a wedding reception. This is for the article called how do you entertain children at a wedding
I photographed this little flower girl looking pretty bored during the wedding reception. I go over many ideas to keep kids entertained at your wedding below.

Fun Ways to Keep Kids Entertained at Your Wedding

If you are short on time, you can use the links below to go right to the section you need. Or read through each idea and consider combining a few different ideas to make your day absolutely perfect.

A flower girl looking bored at the wedding ceremony and putting her flower basket over her face.
It’s natural for kids to get bored at weddings. There are so many fun and easy ways to make things fun for them. I photographed this flower girl expressing just how much fun she was having during the ceremony 😂

Offer Activity Book For Kids

Looking to keep the little kids busy during the wedding? Activity books are the perfect solution.

Here are a few items that you can include in the kids’ activity books:

  • Custom coloring books featuring the couple or wedding theme.
  • Sticker books that match your wedding theme.
  • Word search or crossword puzzle books.
  • DIY booklet with connect-the-dots and mazes.
  • A fun I Spy game

We have a free wedding activity book for kids that you can download. Check out this post and download the free printable PDF: Free Wedding Activity Pages For Kids

Two flower girls coloring in a wedding day activity book while the bride and bridal party get ready
Keep kids busy with fun activity books while you get ready for the wedding. You can also provide these books at the reception.

Outdoor Lawn Games

Lawn games are perfect for a summer outdoor wedding and provide endless cocktail hour and reception fun.

Here are a few games to consider picking up:

  • Classic games like cornhole or ring toss.
  • Outdoor Jenga or Giant Connect Four.
  • Bubbles for the younger guests.
  • Giant chess or checkers for kids who would appreciate something more mellow.
  • Hula hoops
A ring bearer playing cornhole at an outdoor wedding reception.
Outdoor games like cornhole will keep kids busy for hours at your cocktail hour and wedding reception

Provide Disposable Cameras For A Scavenger Hunt

Let the kids be part of the action by giving them a fun mission (a photo scavenger hunt). I have seen this idea at multiple weddings I have planned, and it is always a big hit!

Here is what you will need for this fun kid activity:

  • A list of things or people to photograph.
  • A disposable camera for each kid.
  • Small prizes for completing the hunt.
  • Tell the kids that they can ask a wedding party member if they need help with any of the items.
A flower girl taking photos of the bride and bridesmaids
I photographed this flower girl taking photos of the bride and the bridesmaids. The couple provided this flower girl with a list of photos to capture on the wedding day. It kept her busy for hours (plus, I am guessing that couple loved having those precious moments captured by someone they loved)

Kids’ Table Games

Keep kids busy and happy right where they sit with table games.

Here are a few games/items to consider:

  • Wedding-themed bingo cards.
  • Tablecloth they can color or doodle on.
  • Small puzzles or building block sets.
  • Board games that are age appropriate.

Have a Fun Kids Only Table

Make the kids table a place they won’t want to leave!

Here are a few ideas that are sure to make the kids happy:

  • Fun centerpieces they can play with…like LEGO structures.
  • Colorful disposable cups with silly straws.
  • Fun placemats with activities or puzzles.
  • Novelty napkins or plates in fun shapes.
A ring bearer and flower girl with legos on the wedding day
This ring bearer and flower girl got Legos as gifts from the couple the morning of the wedding. They built them during the getting-ready process and after dinner at the reception.

Get The DJ To Open The Dance Floor Early

Let the kids bust a move before the adults hit the dance floor. This happens at almost any wedding, even if it’s not planned. You might as well tell the DJ to make it fun for the kids.

Have the DJ play a kid-friendly music mix (ask the kids what they want to hear or let them go up and make requests).

Kids dancing at a wedding reception. This is for the article called how do you entertain children at a wedding
Have the DJ open the dance floor for kids towards the end of dinner. It gives them something to do and lets your photographer capture some fun moments while you and your guests finish eating.

Choose Children-Approved Snacks

Offer snacks that are easy to handle and kids love. I don’t know about you, but fun snacks can keep my kids busy and happy for a long time.

Here are a few snack ideas to have at your wedding:

  • Fruit skewers or small snack cups.
  • Cheese and crackers in fun shapes.
  • Mini sandwiches or sliders.
  • Popcorn or pretzels for easy snacking.

Kids buffet

Empower kids to make their own meal choices with a kid-friendly buffet.

Here are a few food items that you could serve:

  • Make-your-own mini pizza station.
  • Simple pasta dishes with different sauce options.
  • Chicken nuggets or meatball skewers.
  • An array of colorful veggies and dip.
A funny flower girl and ring bearer making faces
A flower girl and ring bearer having fun with the camera

Children’s Goodie Bags

Gifts for the little kids can keep them entertained and happy.

Here are a few items that you could include in the goody bag:

  • Play-Doh
  • Bubbles
  • Yo-yos
  • Mini notebook and crayons/pencils
  • Stickers
  • Slap bracelets
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Glow sticks or light-up toys.
  • Novelty sunglasses.
  • Mini puzzles or brain teasers.
  • Hot Wheels
  • Trading cards

Have A Dedicated Kids Bar

Have your caterer or venue set up a separate kids’ bar where they can get fun specialty drinks.

Here are a few ideas of what to server:

  • Shirly Temple
  • Fruit Punch
  • Virgin Piña Colada
  • Strawberry Lemonade
  • Milkshakes
  • Slushies
A group of kids posing at a wedding
This little flower girl carried her stuffed puppy everywhere. Sometimes it’s the simple things that make kids the most happy.

Set Up An Art Table For Children

A dedicated art table for the kids is a great way to keep them occupied during the wedding reception.

Here are a few ideas to include (and a few to stay away from):

  • Coloring Station: Set up a table with coloring pages and crayons. Include a bunch of wedding-themed pages like the wedding cake, flowers, and wedding dress.
  • Stickers: Offer sticker sheets and blank pieces of paper. You could include wedding-themed stickers and have the kids make their own wedding creations, or you could provide stickers you know they will love (unicorns, dinosaurs, animals, fairies, etc.).
  • Play-Doh: Have a variety of Play-Doh colors and cutting/shaping tools. Kids love this stuff!
  • Drawing Supplies: Include a variety of colored pencils and different colors of construction paper to keep the kids busy.

I recommend avoiding messy supplies like glitter, glue, or permanent markers.

I once worked at a wedding where they gave a 2-year-old a blue Sharpie, and he was about 3 inches away from drawing on the bride’s dress as she ate dinner because he wanted to “make the dress pretty.” Luckily one of the servers walked by just in time and saved the day.

Keep Children Entertained With A Movie Room

Create a space where kids can relax and watch a fun movie.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Classic kid-friendly movies or cartoons.
  • Comfy seating with blankets and pillows.
  • Popcorn and other movie snacks.
  • Low lighting for the perfect movie vibe.
Kids watching movies and playing games on phones and iPads
If setting up a movie room is impossible, a few iPads and iPhones can keep them happy for hours.

Serve Plenty of Cupcakes or Fun Desserts

Sweets always win! Make dessert time a treat.

Here are a few desserts to consider:

  • Mini cupcakes in various flavors.
  • Make-your-own sundae bar.
  • Cookie decorating station.
  • A donut wall
  • Smores
Fun desserts served at a wedding. This photo shows cupcakes and cookies
Instead of a wedding cake (or in addition to a cake), consider having cupcakes and other fun desserts at your wedding. The kids will love it, but so will the other adults.

Hire Professional Entertainment for The Kids

Offer non-stop fun by hiring an entertainer or performer for the kids at your wedding (let’s be honest…the adults will love it too!).

Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Magicians
  • Mascots from local businesses or sports teams
  • Balloon animal artists.
  • Face painting experts. I have seen this at a few weddings, and the kids (and a few bridesmaids) loved it!
  • Caricature artists (I saw this at a wedding I photographed, and the kids and adults loved it).
The Red Robin mascot and The Hersheypark mascots dancing at a wedding
I have photographed so many mascots on the wedding dance floor over the past 15 years. It is a great way to keep kids (and adults entertained). The wedding on the left shows the Red Robin mascot dancing with guests at a reception. The other two photos show the Hersheypark mascots dancing at a wedding (I have photographed the Hersheypark mascots at four different weddings).

Kids’ Photo Booth

Create lasting memories with a photo booth dedicated to them.

Here are a few ideas to think about:

  • Fun props that are age-appropriate.
  • Automatic or remote-controlled camera (maybe an iPad station).
  • Instant print-outs for immediate gratification.
  • Digital copies for parents to save.
Two kids posing in a photo booth at a wedding
Kids love playing around in the photo booth. Bring a small stepstool so the smaller kids can pose and have fun without an adult holding them up.

Set Up A Video Game Station

Do you have gamers coming to your wedding? A video game station will surely be a hit for the older kids!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • A console with popular kid-friendly games.
  • Comfortable seating and large screen setup.
  • Multiplayer games for group fun.
  • Keep the volume low, or use headphones.

Provide Professional Childcare

Keeping kids occupied during a long wedding day can be hard.

I once photographed a wedding where the couple hired a few college girls from a site called

These girls were there for about 7 hours playing games with kids, helping them with the photo booth, dancing with them, helping them with food/drinks, and basically keeping the kids entertained the entire time.

This was such a great idea. I now offer this story and advice to all of the couples I work with who have several children attending the wedding.

If the only kids at the wedding are the flower girl and ring bearer, you might need that much help since they are probably closely related to the couple.

At another wedding I photographed, the couple hired two professional nannies to sit in a hotel room with 5-6 kids. The youngest was a baby only a few months old, and the rest were between 2-6.

The parents got to enjoy the wedding reception, knowing that their little ones were being taken care of nearby. They were able to check on them anytime they wanted throughout the night.

Kids doing arts and crafts on the wedding day.
These two flower girls did lots of arts and crafts on the wedding day, thanks to the gift bag from the couple.

Offer a Take-Home Candy Bar

Give them a sweet ending with a take-home candy bar.

Here are a few things to include/consider:

  • Different types of candies in see-through containers (jelly bellies, M&M’s, skittles, mini Hershey bars, gummy worms, etc.).
  • Small scoops and bags or containers.
  • Labels for kids with food allergies.
  • Custom bags for a personalized touch.

There you go! 18 great ways to keep kids entertained at your wedding.

Which ones would you consider for your wedding day?

Are there any other ideas that you have seen?

Leave a comment below and let us know

A candy station at a wedding reception
Kids and adults will love a candy station with take-home bags at the end of the night.

Additional Wedding Planning Tips

Here are a few more articles that you might find helpful when planning your wedding day:

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