The reason I put “Surviving” in the title is simply at times when all six kids were running in six different directions, this momma was in survival mode. I had to make sure my kids didn’t hurt themselves, someone else, or heaven forbid they destroy some part of the Museum.
This past holiday weekend we had a last-minute road trip to visit with some good friends who live only a couple of hours away from home. While we were there my friend and I decided to take all of the kids to a nearby Children’s Museum to have them burn off some energy. Between us there were eight children eleven years old and younger. The great thing about Children Museum’s is that they will have something for everyone, so everyone had fun overall. But still we had to prepare for this so the amount of tears could be limited.
Prepare Mentally- Seriously, stop go to a happy place, collect yourself, say a few or many prayers, give yourself a pep talk. You can do this! I am prone to anxiety attacks so this step is crucial for me cause I am outnumbered every time we leave the house. If you don’t have yourself collected and under control, then the children will sense it and usually riot and cause chaos making everything worse… they can sense fear.
Prepare your bags- Diaper bags, purse, toddler backpack. I don’t mean to sound like a Boy Scout but Be Prepared should be your motto. Check ahead with the specific Children’s Museum you are going to cause not all are the same or offer the same exhibits. However one common exhibit is water play. With that in mind bring extra clothes for the kiddos to change into or a towel if they do not soak themselves down to the undies like a couple of our children did. Over pack, seriously you will be in a better mood knowing that you are prepared for anything despite the extra weight than unexpectedly dealing with a diaper blowout and not having what you need to clean them up so they can keep playing.
Prepare your Children- Times are scary, taking your kids no matter the amount you have into public around strangers can be scary especially when you have more kids than you do limbs. When going to new places or just anywhere in general anymore, I will have a “preemptive spanking” chat with my children. I go over what I expect of them specific to where we are going and remind them of the consequences if they do not follow my instructions. I remind the older ones to help keep an eye on their younger siblings cause I am only one person and the more eyes I have on my wanderers the better. I will make them repeat back to me what rules I just told them and what will happen if they don’t behave and what will happen if they go above and beyond and are little angels the whole time(bribery at its finest). Give them something to want to behave for, ice cream when we get home is our usual go to and works about eighty percent of the time.
Let them be kids- It’s a Children’s museum. Let them loose, make sure they follow the places rules, but let them out of the stroller and explore! Don’t be that mom constantly telling your kids “no! don’t do that!” obviously shoving a toy up the nose would be an appropriate time to say no but make sure you aren’t stopping them from the fun of exploring something new. Let their imaginations go and watch them learn. This is why you will rarely see my kids using a coloring book. I love to give them blank papers and crayons and watch them come up with something completely original. They usually have a ton of role-playing stuff set up for the kids to not only learn about topics but get involved and act it out. Obviously there are situations where parental supervision is extremely important. For instance this specific Children’s Museum we went to had this cool painting room. It was a glass room so you could see through and not only watch them from the outside but the kids got to use a washable paint and paint the glass walls! It was so cool! We happened to be there when they were starting to clean up for the day and watched them clean this room up, there was a hose hanging above the room that they lowered down and simply hosed down the walls, that was when I noticed a drain in the center of the glass room.
In the end we all had a blast and everyone survived.
Thank you to the Alamance County Children’s museum for the amazing experience we had, this post contains links to their page. Also includes affiliate links, all opinions in this post are mine alone. I was not paid to make these opinions. To read my full disclaimer click here.