Inviting children to a bridal shower requires a little extra planning when it comes to games and activities. Many classic bridal shower games--like memory games and word games--are kid friendly, particularly if you stick to the G-rated versions. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking in a kid-friendly mode.
Memory games are popular at bridal showers, and they can be kid friendly as well. Ask the bride to excuse herself at some point during the shower, then give guests one to two minutes to figure out what she is--or isn't--wearing. Another variation is for the bride to model an apron with several attached objects or present a tray full of items, then leave the room after a couple of minutes. Guests then write down everything they remember being on her apron or tray.
These games work well for kids who are able to read and write. For smaller children, consider pairing an adult with each child to do the writing for the team.
Provide pre-printed pages with various word games for adults and children alike. Scramble various wedding-related words such as "cake", "reception" or "flowers" and give guests a time limit to unscramble them. Or create a word search with words related to weddings or to the couple, such as their wedding date, names, wedding theme or color.
Wedding Bingo is another game children can participate in, particularly if you use Bingo cards with pictures. Each card consists of various gifts that are typically received at bridal showers. When the bride opens a gift on your card, you mark it off until one of the guests achieves a Bingo.
Also consider giving each guest a bracelet, necklace or pin upon arriving. Anytime a guest says "bride," "wedding" or the name of the bride or groom, someone else can take the pin. Whoever has the most pins at the end of the party wins a prize. Stickers would also work well for children.
A good way to involve both the adults and children is to divide guests into teams featuring a combination of each age group. Send each team on a scavenger hunt for specific items you hide before the shower. Teams can also have water balloon or egg tossing contests. That isn't relevant to the shower at all, but may prove to be fun for adults and children alike.
Play "who knows the bride best" and watch how much the kids actually know, possibly from eavesdropping. Games pertaining to celebrity couples or TV couples may entertain children as well. Provide simple crafts or coloring pages portraying weddings for younger children, and tailor special favors towards children if there are quite a few attending.
And be sure to treat the bride and groom's children to an extra prize, gift or treat no matter how small, so they don't feel lost in the shuffle.
It is a good idea to keep prizes on hand for adults and children alike; while grown-up guests may enjoy scented candles, children probably prefer candy. Also, dictate one adult winner and one underage winner for each game, to keep the competition even.
Finally, if you have a lot of children attending, be sure to have kid-only games available for them to play.
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Janece Bass is a freelance writer specializing in weddings, family, health, parenting, relationships, dating, decorating, travel, music and sports. She has been writing for more than 15 years and has numerous published pieces on various websites and blogs. Bass has also ghostwritten various fiction-based novels.