Day Out Survival Guide
As parents we know that days out with the kids are what childhood memories are made of, but often a promising plan can turn out to be a stressful and exhausting experience, as we wrangle our offspring from entrance to exit.
The key is to do as much preparation as possible, while avoiding having to lug around several kilos of stuff in an over-flowing nappy bag. Here are our top tips:
- If you're off somewhere new, check out the website so you have directions on where to go, what facilities are available and what should be your plan of attack with toddlers or preschoolers in tow.
- Remember to take the phone number of your destination in case you get lost and check the weather forecast.
- If you can, buy tickets in advance to avoid queues at the destination.
- Don't pack too much into the day, be prepared to drop some activities if the kids aren't interested.
- Don't plan to spend a whole day there - a couple of hours is plenty as younger children get tired easily.
- Take a buggy, even if your child hardly ever uses it. Little legs get weary after a while!
- Take food and water because, yes, you're sure to buy treats for the kids, but you probably don't want to spend a small fortune at the cafe. Cheese and crackers, nuts, water and portable fruit, such as mandarins can keep your youngsters happy. Check out more easy 'food on the run' ideas here.
- Set expectations about how you expect your children to behave, such as staying close to Mum at all times. Also set out the schedule of events so children know what to expect on the trip.
- For older children, have a pre-arranged meeting point in case someone goes missing.
- Remember hats, sunblock and raincoats, depending on the time of year, but try to keep extra layers to a minimum as it will just mean extra stuff to carry, or risk getting lost.