• Katie Hirons

The Kids are Alright...

Back in March I offered to help out a friend with the planning and styling for her wedding in July - It was a gorgeous, rustic affair with a big emphasis on fun and she was keen to come up with some ways to entertain the teeny and tweeny guests during the speeches (probably one of the most risky times to have several sugar-loaded children sat without supervision) without blowing her modest budget. So, after agreeing that magicians, lion tamers, stunt men and hidden tipis filled with childcare professionals (yes, it has been done) were a bit extravagant, I decided to put together some entertainment boxes - simple, totally budget friendly and surprisingly effective! So here's a little run down of what was in them, who they kept busy and where you can source everything you need to make your own - enjoy!

1, The Teenies (Anywhere from about 4 - 9 years old)

One of the first things to remember when putting together entertainment boxes is that if there is something in there that can make a noise, it will be making a noise throughout the entire meal. For this reason, steer clear of whistles, toy guns, or anything else that could make your young guests' parents never see you again. In the same vein, minimise the opportunity for arguments by having some elements which are the same (ie sweets: the highest prize in any gift box) but also keeping things age-appropriate so they are far too engrossed with their own to get jealous of anyone else's.

For younger guests, include things like crafts (I got most of ours from Baker Ross and they have a huge selection!), puzzles and games, but importantly, try not to make it too 'babyish'. I know some pretty sassy 5 year olds and they'll be the first to set you straight if they feel they aren't being challenged enough - The gorgeous little activity packs shown above are from etsy seller Dotty Hens and were perfect for the younger girls.

On that note - be realistic in terms of what boys and girls deem to be fun- I'm all for gender neutral activities, but try to appeal to areas they will probably be more drawn to - digging, brain-teasers and robots were all featured in the boxes for the younger boys (final picture) and it seemed to be a hit, whilst the girls had bracelet kits or colour-me-in bags (which I was actually a bit jealous of!).

2. The Tweenies (Around 10-13 years old)

Oddly, this particular age group seems largely uncatered for in the world of wedding entertainment. They are a lot less likely to cause havoc during the speeches, however they probably aren't quite game for sitting at the grown-ups' table watching everyone getting tiddly - So I put together these packs to give them a 'job' (albeit a fun one), with the hope that they would feel very much a part of the wedding day, without feeling like they had regressed to their pre-school selves...

The idea is pretty simple really: Give them a list of things to snap and make sure they drop the camera off before they leave - et voila - you get some great candid photos of the day, and they get to do something different (be prepared- as 21st century smart phone users, some of them might not know how to use a disposable camera - the horror! - so leave some instructions!) . I got the cameras from Confetti and whilst they were the most expensive single element in the boxes at around £4.50 each, they were definitely worth it for seeing the amateur photographers darting around all afternoon!

All in, for 11 boxes, I spent just under £50 - which is an absolute steal when you realise just how much of a difference some simple activities make to the experience of not only your younger guests- but also their very deserving parents too! Cheers!

If you would like more creative ideas, as well as help sourcing some budget-friendly elements for your big day, pop over to my contact sheet here and Say Hello!

Kate x

Full Supplier List:

Excavation kits - Tiger

Sweets and Puzzles - Party Packs

Craft kits (Robot Masks, Bracelet Kits, Colouring Bag) - Baker Ross

Activity Packs - Dotty Hens

Disposable Cameras - Confetti

Boxes and Paper Bags - Ebay

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