We know all the usual ways children like to celebrate. They want time with their friends when the focus is on them. We all know, though, that there are times when we have to bring children to events that aren’t about them. When planning events that are not generally kid-friendly in theme, here are some ideas to engage your younger guests.
Make It Fun For Everyone
Weddings are a special day focused on the bride and groom. While there are plenty of examples on the internet of cute kids stealing the show during a dance, having some activities available for them to do away from the main event is a good idea. Create a craft room with art supplies and activities to occupy them. It is an ideal way for them to leave the wedding with a perfect gift. When the bride and groom leave the wedding, allowing them to wave sparklers for wedding exit is a fun way for them to interact as the happy couple rides off into the sunset.
Gender reveal parties are another one of those moments where the excitement of finding out the gender of a baby might not be that exciting for a child. It can be especially hard for a child if it’s the new baby’s older sibling. Including that child in the actual reveal might also help make them feel special. How fun would it be for the child to be part of a soccer ball gender reveal? The excitement they would feel to see the sky light up pink or blue, announcing to the world that they’ll be having a little sister or brother, can be an incredibly inclusive moment for them.
Birthday celebrations are fun for everyone, right? Probably not if you’re celebrating an older person’s birthday (read: anyone who is not a child). Allowing a child to participate in preparing the festivities is an easy way to make them feel involved. They can help put up festive lights by holding them while they’re being strung across the yard. This has the added benefit of keeping the lights off the ground and from becoming a tangled mess. Allow them to help set up tables and chairs. Even simple tasks can make a child feel like they’re contributing. Providing simple goodie bags with activities they can do throughout the festivity is also a fun distraction.
Provide children with a disposable camera when they arrive at an event. Ask them to take pictures of people at their table or family members that a hired photographer may not capture. It also allows them to feel like they are part of the event. If you’re worried about overeager photographers, encourage them to take candid shots. Make it seem like a secret mission to capture images without others knowing it. Ask them to take a selfie or have someone take their picture and send them a copy as a thank you. They’ll love the reminder too.
If you are concerned about young ones turning your event upside down (the fear is real), hire a babysitter to entertain the younger guests. Depending on the weather and time of year, designate a space for a babysitter to do activities with the kids, like painting or coloring, building with blocks, and working on puzzles. Activities should encompass a broad range of age-appropriate and safe activities. Teenagers make great babysitters and are often eager to make a little side money as well.
Enjoying the Festivities
We all want to have fun when we have the opportunity to celebrate. Whether we’re the center of attention or someone else is, we don’t want to worry about what the kids will be doing. Providing meaningful ways to include them in the fun will be less stressful and ultimately way more fun for those attending the events. In the end, we all want to enjoy the festivities and walk away with happy memories (maybe even ones snapped by a young child!).