Keeping Kids Happy at the Reception

Most likely, you’ll have kids attending the reception. With a few special touches, you could make them the happiest age group around. Below are a few ideas to cater to the younger crowd.

Under-5
Hopefully, most children in this age group will be home with a babysitter. However, if you suspect they’ll be there, here are a few things to consider:

* Check if your reception hall has booster seats, high chairs and diaper-changing stations. If they don’t, contact the parents to make sure they bring all necessary supplies.
* Seat the family with other families who are also bringing young children. If the little tyke starts crying, they tend to be more understanding then say, a group of single 20-somethings. No other young kids? Seat them with the most patient people you know.

Ages 5 – 10
If you have enough kids in this age group to fill a table, consider seating them together. Be sure to hire a babysitter for the table to ensure they don’t join you during the father/daughter dance or throw spaghetti at Aunt Metilda.

Below are a few more ideas for this age group:

* If you choose to have a kid’s table, cover it with a paper tablecloth so they can draw on it. For a centerpiece, provide a bucket of crayons, several cartons of play-dough or travel games.
* Check to see if your reception or catering company offers kid’s meals at a reduced cost.
* Before the traditional bouquet toss and garter throw for adults, have a candy toss for kids. This way, the kid’s can participate but you won’t be caught in the awkward situation of having a garter-toting, 6-year-old boy traveling up the leg of a 30-year-old.
* Maybe the chicken dance makes you cringe, but kids love it!
* For favors, send them home with candy or a small toy. Just make sure it isn’t anything they’ll choke on.

Ages 11-16
Adolescents. This is the age where a kid will walk 15 feet behind their parents for fear of being associated with the “most embarrassing human beings alive.” Do them a favor and seat this age group together. While you probably don’t need an adult at their table, place them at a table next to adults who won’t let them misbehave. Besides this word of warning, treat this group as you would any adult (minus the alcohol, of course).