If you have ever been an adult in charge of a group of kids at an amusement park, you have probably realized the truth to Murphy’s Law, which states if anything can go wrong, it will. The best way to make your trip to the amusement park enjoyable is to follow the mantra of the scouts: be prepared.
Whether you are taking your own kids or a large group from a church or organization, know the kids you will be supervising. If you are responsible for a large group, chances are that you will not know each kid very well. But knowing the basics can help you prepare for anything that might come up.
For instance, what are the ages of the children you will be responsible for? Younger kids need to take more rest breaks than older ones, even if they insist they are not tired or hungry. Make the breaks fun for the smaller children so they won’t feel like they are wasting time. Maybe you could call the group together for a “pit stop” or “mini picnic.” Get them to have a drink and a quick, healthy snack. Try to get them to stay away from the cotton candy and ice cream as much as possible.
Teenagers need breaks too. They will likely let you know it, though. The great thing about teens is that they like to talk with one another, so creating break time will not be nearly as difficult!
Take a first aid kit. It doesn’t have to be a big one, but should include enough supplies to handle a few scraped knees. Some anti-bacterial hand wipes, triple antibiotic ointment and self-adhesive bandages should do the trick. If you are permitted to dole out pain reliever for headaches, aching legs and backs, take those along too – in sample sizes if they will fit better into your bag.
Carry along an extra shirt, child sized, if you can fit it into your tote bag. Someone will probably need it before the day is over.
Remember, not all children like to ride big rides. If everyone in your group including yourself wants to ride the world’s biggest, fastest roller coaster, but one ten year old girl is standing firm that she will not board it, an adult needs to stay on the ground with her. If you are the only adult, that means you. Don’t make her feel guilty or bad about her choice. Instead, happily agree to wait with her and take a rest break. Chances are, the line will be long and the two of you will be resting for a good while.
Here’s another hint: before you ever leave to get to the park, check the kids over. Are they dressed appropriately for the day’s weather? Are they wearing comfortable shoes. Flip-flops or thong shoes are a no-no. They may be “in” but the blisters they would wear with excessive walking are never trendy!
With just a little planning, your trip to the amusement park can be exactly what it was intended to be – great fun!
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