Little kids are interesting specimens. One morning they’re the angels of perfection, by lunchtime they’re running around naked and screaming while their parents hide in the nearest cupboard. Parents’ best intentions are often sidelined by sickness, tantrums, broken naps or the dreaded nappy disaster. So to get us all out of the house to pay you a visit, there are a few things running through our mind.
Is there enough to keep my kids interested?
Any investment we make, whether that be time, money or travel should be rewarded with little ones that are happy, engaged and interested in what they are experiencing. Is there enough for them to see? Has the place been designed with their attention span, height and needs in mind? Little ones can’t walk long distances without needing to touch, hear or see something that will engage them. If the experience is too adult-orientated, kids will quickly lose interest and we’ll be gone faster than a marshmallow on the side of a fluffy.
Tell me, quickly.
A simple proposition that is fast and easy to understand works best. I’m sleep-deprived and totally overwhelmed with information, so talk to me like a cartoon caveman..Kids. Like. This…Eat. Here. Now. … ok, slight exaggeration, but you get the idea. Use few words and lots of pictures of happy children.
Will it be stressful?
Visiting a new place usually sends us parents into apprehension overdrive. On our first trip we’ll be silently observing many things and by the end of the visit you’ll get a subconscious score, and if it’s a good score, we’ll be back. Some things parents will score you on: How easy is it to navigate and manage this space with children. If the highchair in the café is dirty and requires an engineering degree to operate, we might avoid the café next time we visit. Can I easily park my car and get into the entrance, with the million things I’m bound to be carrying? Is there somewhere comfortable to breastfeed? The more little things you can improve on, the higher the score will be.
What’s in it for me?
A fun, educational experience is why we take kids out, yes. But throw in a little something for us parents and you’ll probably guarantee a return. This could be as simple as a decent coffee, a rest, a magazine, some exercise or even a social opportunity. Perhaps a little selfish, but we do so much for our children it’s not so bad to have a little something for us, is it?
Renee Carter is a Wellington mum with two lovely but rambunctious boys. She provides marketing support to Nature Connections and is also owner of Citywrigglers (www.citywrigglers.co.nz<http://www.citywrigglers.co.nz) a website dedicated to activities, events and fun stuff for the kids of Wellington.