6 Tips to Keep Your Kids Entertained at Weddings and Other ‘Boring’ Events

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6 Tips to Keep Your Kids Entertained at Weddings and Other ‘Boring’ Events

By Kelly Rae Smith

6 Tips for Kids at Weddings

More and more couples are choosing to trim their wedding guest list by eliminating their youngest guests. So when they are invited, it’s important to make sure the kids are on their best behavior—even if they find the event to be a little boring. As a parent, you may have nightmares of your kids climbing pews and making funny noises during the vows. To avoid ruining the event—for yourself and the happy couple—make sure you have the tools you need to get through the ceremony and reception. Here are six essential tips for parents to consider before heading for a big event with their brood.

1. Start early. Begin pep talks at least one week before the wedding. Let your kids know why the occasion is so special in terms that they’ll understand: These two people are vowing to love each other and take care of each other forever and ever. Then repeat the talk several times leading up to the day. Knowing that they’re taking part in something so sacred may inspire the kids to try a little harder to sit still.

2. Out of sight, out of mind. Sit in the back of the ceremony, near an aisle so you can make a quick exit if need be. Staying away from the front also allows your kids to keep busy with quiet activities without disturbing too many folks nearby. You may want to also scope out a nearby room where you can flee if need be. Or if you fear you won’t be able to take in the ceremony without being full of dread, you could stay in the close-by small room for the duration of the nuptials, listening in but also keeping your little rascal comfortably far from the proceedings.

3. Feed the beasts. Bring snacks, even if you have to break your no-food-in-church rule. Pack your kids’ favorites, be it goldfish or grapes. I’ve had a friend give their kids lollipops to keep them busy for a ceremony, because lollipops last a pretty long time!

4. Special job. Talk it over with the happy couple, and consider giving the kids a job that will make them feel like they’re an essential part of the day, which will keep them busy and their attentions focused. Try letting them hand out tissues, or give them disposable cameras to “document” the event from their seat.

5. Pack an activity or two. If you’re afraid your little ones are already bored of the same old toys, here are a few suggestions that could give them a reason to stay nice and occupied for an hour or two while you enjoy the occasion in peace:

— Stickers and a fresh, new sticker album

— Brand new coloring book and crayons

— Bubbles (great for a reception)

— Magna Doodle

— Puzzle

— Tablet/portable DVD player with a movie and headphones

6. Embrace bribery. When all else fails, try a little bit of bribery on your kids. While it may not be an everyday parenting method that you favor, you may be a little more open to trying this tactic for a special occasion—especially if it turns out to be effective. Promising a visit to a favorite ice cream parlor or a beloved treat after the ceremony—dependent on good behavior, of course—may just ensure the kind of behavior that will have everyone around you wondering how you got your kids to be so obedient.

What activity have you found successful in keeping the peace during a quiet occasion? Please share your ideas in the comments!

Kelly Rae Smith is based in Charleston, SC and writes for Shutterfly.com. Her wedding planning ideas are inspired by the options available on the Shutterfly website.

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