Few things are more enjoyable than making memories with your family at a carnival. Of course, with little kids, sometimes few things can also be so stressful or draining. You need your “radar” on all the time and there’s so much going on that can over-stimulate the young ones.The secret is to be prepared and organised. Doing so can save your sanity without sacrificing any of the carnival magic and care-free fun.
If you’re taking your kids to a BC summer carnival, you may find it helpful to use this carnival survival guide for parents so you can enjoy your day of fun and handle anything it might throw your way.
Your Carnival Survival Checklist
- Charge your cell phone before you leave the house.
- A fanny pack is way better than a purse. You can be hands free and it’s tougher for thieves.
- It’s always easiest. Get it the day before.
- Eat a good meal before you go. As much delicious food as there will be to eat, never arrive at a carnival hungry.
- Dress right. Wear the right footwear for a day on your feet. Supportive shoes are way better than flip-flops or sandals. Clothes need to be light and provide freedom.
- Bring a “survival pack.”
- Sunscreen, no matter what the weather. It can change quickly in BC and kids have sensitive skin.
- Bandages and wet wipes. Kids fall and they are messy.
- Change of clothes for kids.
- Yes, there are food vendors at the carnival, but familiar quick snacks need to be at hand, especially if meltdowns occur or tired crabbiness strikes.
- Hydration is key when you’re outside and moving. While vendors will be on site, it’s always best to bring some of your own.
- Scope out the location. Most carnival websites will provide a map. Get an idea of where things are before you arrive.
- Have a meeting point. If your group must separate, everyone should know where to meet. Don’t merely rely on cell phones.
- Teach children where the meeting point is.
- Pin cell phone numbers to your kids’ clothes.
- Have a plan. Look up all the events online and decide what attractions you and your family want to see.
- Take pictures and videos. This one is self-explanatory, but experiencing a carnival with your children is definitely something worth capturing.
- Avoid alcohol. As tempting as it may be to enjoy a frosty one, especially on a hot day or in an attempt to calm your nerves, don’t. Save it for home and keep your wits about you. Your children depend on it.
- Follow the rules and be safe. Height restrictions on rides exist for good reason. So do rules about keeping hands inside rides. Children under 13 account for half of all injuries on carnival rides.
- Ride with your child when possible. If your kid gets frightened, you need to be there to reassure and advise against climbing out. You can also prevent a premature exit before a ride has come to a complete stop.
- Avoid motion sickness. Tell kids to face forward and be careful about them going on rides soon after eating.
No doubt you have a few procedures and tricks of your own. Great. Just know that a survival guide for the carnival can make your day much more fun and much less stressful.
See you at BC’s summer carnivals this August and September!
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