While suiting or dressing up for a special occasion may be exciting to the big kids, sometimes formal events can take their toll on little minds leading to boredom and mischief.Events held in outdoor spaces are great for little people to run around, explore, play… and exert some energy, however if your event is taking place indoors, or during inclement weather, I’ve put together some ideas of how to keep little people entertained while Mum & Dad also enjoy the festivities:Colouring/Art & Craft stations: Set up a table with colouring books, crayons, pencils, or if you would like to be more elaborate – make-your-own craft items such as masks, pom poms or origami. Colouring packs on each table where kids are sitting are also a great idea to keep them entertained during the formalities (speeches at weddings, welcoming address as a fundraiser, etc.) when they need to be seated.Board Game corner: Allocate a corner of the space for board games, puzzles and large format games – think Twister and Giant Jenga – to keep groups of little ones entertained all at once. After a few beverages you may just find the adults taking over the Twister and Jenga though – which is always entertaining!Techno Space: If you have a large space, or a space with another smaller room/section attached, a ‘techno’ area set up with movies/TV, a playstation, iPads, etc. may be a valuable addition. Deck out the area with bean bags, little people chairs, cushions and blankets, and you never know – those tired little bodies just may ‘zonk’ out later in the night watching a Pixar classic. (Not going to lie – this would be appealing to many adults I know…. Me being at the top of the list!).Indoor inflatable fun: Indoor. Jumping. Castle. Need I say more?
Play centres and play equipment: There are now lots of companies hiring out items for indoor play. Indoor ball-pits (YES PLEASE – Adult size), climb and slide set ups (with soft material options for little bodies), mini freestanding basketball hoops, pretend and play houses, tents, tipi’s, tunnels, see-saws, electric cars, dress-ups…. And the list goes on.
Roving entertainment: Magicians, stilt-walkers, balloon artists, clowns (or not… they’re terrifying to some), cartoon characters and face painters.
Hiring a babysitter for your event is also a wonderful option. Depending on the children’s ages and needs (and how many are attending), paying one or two babysitters to look after and entertain the children is an amazing relief to those parents attending who were maybe not able to arrange a ‘sitter’ prior to the event. If cost is an issue, you could simply offer the service, with all parents chipping in – it’s certainly cheaper than each parent paying individual babysitters – and that way the kids are still involved in the event without needing constant parental supervision.
As we approach the Winter months, more events are likely to take place indoors and these are just some ideas that may assist in planning your special occasion. Rather than asking people not to bring children, having activities to keep them entertained and happy throughout will make their experience – and yours- all the more memorable.
Until next time…. Take Care and a HUGE Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mum’s out there for Sunday, especially our own! ????