Holidays, Parenting

Top 10 tips for ‘festing’ with kids

by Jenni Evans, March 30,2018

In and around New Orleans, we love to celebrate, and spring and summer are when we really get going. For some families, the decision is obvious…GO! Pack up the necessities, put on some dancing shoes, and don’t miss a beat. Other families think a big festival downtown is a great time to head to the park or the lake, as far away as possible.

Before you jump in, think about the day from your child’s perspective. There may be traffic, parking, lines, and crowds. Still want to do it? Then read on:
1. Safety first. Make sure very young children have your name and phone number somewhere on their person. When they are old enough, talk with children about an emergency plan in case they are lost and remind them to keep an eye or a hand on you at all times. (safety tats or sharpies on forearms are good alternatives. pro tip: take a pick of your child day of, so if you get separated, authorities can more easily spot them!) 
2. Weather protection. It gets hot! Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and plenty to drink. Dress your child with a protective layer—hat and sunshirt—and bring a change of clothes, if possible. (water, water, water!) 
3. Plan ahead. Make sure you have the items your child needs on a typical day whether it’s diapers and wipes, or a special comfort item. Bring a stroller even if your child doesn’t often want to ride.
4. Use your resources. Find a shady spot to use as a base camp. If you go in a group, people can take turns hanging out with the kids and venturing out for a quick adventure.
5. Give a little to get a little.  A child with a favorite snack or a special treat is likely to sit longer while you watch a performance.
6. Don’t miss any of the child-friendly aspects of the festivals from special children’s areas to demonstrations and colorful shopping areas.
7. Know your child and how he will respond. Most children don’t like to feel crowded and don’t last as long in a festival environment. So go early when crowds are thin and plan to leave at the first signs of readiness – two to three hours for most children. 
by Jenni Evans, the Parenting Center of New OrleansNola Family staff, as moms ourselves, have added a few tips or suggestion of our own- in parentheses! 
Click here for tips on keeping your family healthy during festival season!

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