Monday, July 8, 2013

Managing lots of littles in crowded spaces

Wrapping up my 4th of July posts is the anticipated finally, the fireworks.  My 5 were so looking forward to going out at night to the fireworks.  We had seen some in our town a week before and they were more than happy to go see more.  But it is late, dark, there are lots of people and at times like this I feel I have lots of kids.

Keeping track of 5 plus often more, I try to fill my my small suburban :)  no really it is just to small for me.  We only have 1 extra seat in it and there is always a trade off of what can I bring or how many groceries can I squeeze in.  It is times like that when I realize I have a slightly bigger than average family.  However we still do not consider ourselves large.  And we are not at least for out here in Amish country.

Back to the fireworks.  Taking 5 young kids out in to a dark event can be stressful if you are not prepared.  I have learned some steps/ tips to make your life easier.

1st dress your kids in glow lights.

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They might not necessarily stay on  them but they will hold and play with the lights.

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You can spot your glowing kid running away.

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Or making glowing spinning circles.

I do this at Halloween too.  But it is still not enough.  Halloween where they are running for candy in costumes is tough.  Especially since they often look like other kids and take off so fast, even a seasoned mom like me does not do Halloween with out many extra adults.  I pay them in candy.

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The kids are so used to wearing glow sticks they ask if I have them pack in our check list out the door.  For them it is fun, for me it is safety.

Second I go to the same spot every year.  Each event we have "our" spot.  Whether it is for our town fireworks, a different cities fireworks, picnics, Halloween, whatever we have "our" spot that we always go to.  This gets easier each year.  As the kids get more familiar of where to go they know if we get separated to go back to that spot and I will come get them.  And as we unloaded from the vehicle they automatically walk there helping me carry the stuff, another big help.

Stuff.  With kids comes stuff.  Bring it.

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I bring a blanket to say this is our spot.  I expect you kids to stay on this blanket or at least only be running and jumping around it.  And to make them further comply I bring food and drinks.  Yes, just like cats if you feed them they won't go away.

Toys and ipods.  I try not to bring toys or ipods unless we are going to be there for an extended period of time because it is just something they can lose and if they did I would be furious with their lack of responsibility for something so expensive.  Instead I try to bring things that are disposable.  Often I bring bubbles or sparklers.  They have a great time with them, they stay fully occupied, they are inexpensive,  I throw away all the waste and don't have to bring anything home.

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Most importantly have fun.  You need to remember these are the times the kids remember most.  Repetitive fun events and traditions.  You want to make it a good experience not a stressful one.  But learning from year after year you will find out what works best for your family.  By preparing ahead of time you can reduce stress.  So have fun and enjoy, as I had another great night enjoying the fireworks with my kids.

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Yes a bit sun-burnt from earlier in the day.

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And Babycakes it was a nice first 4th of July for her.  We had fun too and fun showing her what 4th of July is.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I'm new to being a mom (I'm fostering a 7, 10 and 12 year old) and Fourth of July was so frightening for me. I did think to have glow sticks but your post was really helpful for my next event, an outdoor showing of "Back to the Future." Thanks!!

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