Any tips to keep a preschooler entertained/quiet during a wedding ceremony and other wedding-related events? My brother is getting married later this month, and my husband and I are both in the wedding. My three and a half year old is a flower girl too, and will be with us for a variety of events leading up to the wedding as well. We're leaving our 16 month old with my in-laws for most of the weekend, and just having her join for photos and the cocktail hour of the reception - thank goodness! But my three and a half year old has to make it through two brunches, rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and the wedding before we get to that point. I kind of cringe thinking about it.
I'm looking for some quiet ideas to keep her entertained over the course of the weekend. I'm hoping she'll keep her act together while she has to be up at the front of the church as a flower girl, but I'm prepared to sit down with her during the service if I need to. I can let her watch something on the iPad in a pinch for most things, but I don't feel like I can pull that out all the time. And she always pulls the headphones out if she's using them, so I have these nightmares of the Paw Patrol theme song blaring unexpectedly during the vows or toasts.
So far I have some of those invisible imagine ink coloring pads and a bunch of lollipops to bring along with us. I'm hoping that if she has a lollipop in her mouth, she won't be able to talk as loudly.
Any ideas of quiet activities that have kept your kids entertained to make it through stuff like this? When we all agreed to be in the wedding a year ago, I was feeling waaay more optimistic than I'm feeling now!
wonderful cherry / 21504 posts
For the ceremony itself, I think the lollipop is a good idea. And maybe a brand new book with a favorite character or something, that will be very special. Both my kids like random small figures, like those tubes of toys you can get at AC Moore- maybe a little purse with 4 or 5 small dolls or animals to play with. I’d keep it simple for the ceremony.
For the rest of the events it will be easier because you guys can be talking to her and helping her and other people will want to hang out with her too. My kids like cheap packs of playing cards, like old maid- don’t worry if some get lost. Coloring. Target has these little felt play sets in the dollar bin- we’ve had a dollhouse one and a mermaid one- and my older daughter will quietly play with them for a long time.
Personally I try to save the iPad for towards the end when all of our patience is low. That way it’s new and exciting and she won’t lose interest before the end of the weekend.
Good luck! My two girls were flower girls this spring and it was tiring but actually fun. They loved dancing!
squash / 13199 posts
@caitcat: I wouldnt do the lollipop during the service, but would have it as a reward for being super quiet during. My main concern would be the wedding ceremony itself my guess is the brunches and rehearsals wont be that formal ans since there is food involved that will keep her occupied.
cantaloupe / 6085 posts
Boogie board (erasable no mess coloring/drawing - super useful for lots of things!)
Water wow no mess “coloring” (also reusable)
Lots and lots of snacks
nectarine / 2951 posts
We were all in the wedding party for my SIL’s wedding in August. The boys (ages 2 and 5) did a fantastic job of keeping it together and being adorable, but my gosh, it was exhausting to run after them all night (in a long bridesmaid dress to boot)!
I packed a small backpack for each boy full of snacks and toys for the wedding day, since we had photos before the ceremony and had some downtime. We packed:
New matchbox cars
My 2 year old refused to nap at his regular time, but fell asleep in my arms for about an hour, right before the ceremony. We fed them dinner before the ceremony, and then they didn’t eat anything the rest of the night (except for cake!!!). They were dance machines and lasted until 9:30/10!
olive / 64 posts
We’re in a similar situation in a few weeks except my husband is not in the wedding too. Are there games she can play on the ipad? My 3 yo loves many iPad games (I can certainly give you ideas) and it keeps her entertained for a while, plus she can play them on mute. I also plan on rewarding good behavior with candy all weekend
kiwi / 617 posts
Is there someone who can help entertain your preschooler? I'm 12+ years older than my cousins, so during my teen years I went to many weddings as a mother's helper so that the parents could be in the wedding and enjoy themselves.
persimmon / 1365 posts
I feel you. DH and I were in a wedding with our three year old in June. I recommend lots and lots of snacks (preferably not messy). We had animal crackers, yogurt pouches, veggie straws, etc. I got a couple new water wow books for him as well as those dollar "play packs" that have stickers, coloring book, and a couple of crayons. We also had glow sticks, which he obviously didn't use until the reception but he LOVED them and danced with them the entire night.
wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts
I've been to quite a few weddings with my now almost 4 and almost 2 year old. They are also flower girls while I'm the MOH for my sister's wedding next year.
I am assuming someone is with her while you and your husband are standing up there as the wedding party? I honestly wouldn't expect her to sit in the ceremony the whole time unless she is on the Ipad with headphones most of the time. If that caretaker can just let her roam around outside somewhere...
pear / 1586 posts
When my son was a ring bearer at 2, a bag of mini marshmallows was the best bribe snack to keep him quiet during the ceremony. They aren’t messy or loud!
apricot / 410 posts
Thank you all!! Great ideas here. Snacks and low-mess, low maintenance things seem to be the way to go.
The plan at the moment is that she’s going to stand up front in church with the rest of the wedding party as long as she can during the ceremony, and then I’ll sit down with her with some kind of distraction if I need to, or she’ll sit with one of my cousins. Or if she’s really not able to make it through the service at all, my in laws will pull her to a side room with our younger one. We’re going to see how she handles any of it during the rehearsal and adjust from there. But regardless, these are great ideas for ways to quietly get her through the ceremony and other events. I’m off to target and the dollar store tomorrow to stock up!