Concerned about children putting a damper on your reception? The best way to minimize your chances of a full-scale kindergartener meltdown is to provide these young guests with plenty of things to do. A craft table can be a great way to keep the kiddos occupied and happy. Consider hiring a babysitter or enlisting the help of a responsible preteen relative (credit him or her in the program alongside the welcome table attendants) to supervise the projects.
Woodsy weddings or those at parks give you plenty of options for entertaining the younger set at your wedding. Play bingo or create a scavenger hunt for an interactive activity. Make sure to use a clean, lowercase font to help new readers. Once they've collected their items, provide them with small jars to make their own mini-terrariums. You can also give them playful, modern elements like dinosaur figurines (below) or sparkly gems to make their projects completely unique.
Does your rustic wedding venue have a large field or hilltop? Children can make their own kites and then spend the afternoon flying them.
Simple craft projects are terrific for keeping younger elementary school children involved. The younger the kids, the more you need to prep the supplies. For example, if the children are too young to even use child-safety scissors, pre-cut the eyes, ears, and whiskers for these paper plate animal masks (below, left). Children 6 and up can glue buttons and charms to the branches of a pre-painted tree (below, right). If you have older children attending, give them completely blank canvases so that they can design their own!
Woodland theme to your wedding? Encourage kids to paint a forest of their own. They can either contribute together to a community display, or you can give them cut-out boxes to make their own dioramas.
Older kids might love more intermediate crafts, especially if they see "grown-up" DIY examples around your reception. For example, if your monogram is on full display, let kids create their own for their bedrooms. Simply purchase cheap yarn in a multitude of colors, craft glue, charms, and cardboard letters.
Another craft for older children is painting their own birdhouses. The younger kiddos could participate too, but then you really need to make sure to provide smocks. If you think your craft projects might get a little messy, make a note on your wedding website asking parents to bring aprons or a change of clothes for their children.
Of course, the best crafts are the edible ones (no matter what your age). Decorate-your-own cupcake plates can be so much fun for little hands. This example (below, left) used a disposable paint tray to hold tiny candies and spoonfuls of sprinkles. You can also make food art, such as with this lively under the sea motif "painted" on a graham cracker with aqua frosting and graham cracker crumbs.