You Can Have Fun In Rain, Snow or Sun!1
Where to go?
- Trips are great for young ones during the day or for older kids after school and weekends.
- Some great online resources with current events and trip ideas:
- Coolculture.org (You don’t need the Cool Culture Card to access free & low cost trip ideas!)
- MommyPoppins.com provides daily calendars of free and low cost events all over NYC for families with young children.
- Find a trip matching your child’s age and interests. Young children love hands on places.
- Trip buddies make it easier in a new place and a lot more fun.
- Your child’s staff/teachers can offer places that enhance what your child has learned.
- Take out books (ask the librarian), getting your child ready for what you will see and how you will get there.
- Check the weather, choose an indoor or outdoor place, and dress appropriately. Bring sweaters just in case- some indoor places are chilly.
- CALL the site personally and/or check their website in order to:
- Confirm the days, hours, busy days/ times, and fees.
- Find out about any special events taking place.
- Ask what programs and accommodations are available for your child’s specific special needs.
- Ask about places for giving your child space if he/she needs it and a place to sit down to eat.
- Get directions. You can also call the MTA for public travel directions (718) 330-1234. Don’t forget to bring the phone number and address in case you need info along the way.
- Call 311 to learn about daily road closures or train delays, so you can travel enjoyably.
- Getting there early avoids crowds, letting your child enjoy for how long he/she wants.
- Bring snacks and drinks, extra diapers and wipes, and a change of clothes if necessary.
- Pack a camera and a smile!
- Bring along necessary medication, insurance card, and if possible proof of your child’s special need to help you get through lines faster.
Once you Get There..
- Go to the information desk, and grab a map. Have someone circle the activities you must see!
- Locate the restrooms and go before you begin.
During the visit
- Looking at things is fun, but make sure you do things that let your child touch, hear, and feel.
- Point out things you see and try to get your child to look at the items as well.
- For verbal children ask them open-ended questions that encourage them to interact, such as “Where’s the _____?”, “What’s that?”, “What’s going on here? What do you see? Which is your favorite? Why?”
- Ask your children to tell you a story about an object that interests them. Ask them to think of their own names for a painting or sculpture.
- Play games such as “I SPY” by describing an object or animal and having your child find it. Can you find sculptures that are circles? Sculptures that have the same colors? Sculptures that use more than one material?
- Visit some place new! Find things familiar right away, getting your child to feel comfortable.
- Allow your child to guide you at times, giving your child more time at things he/she enjoys more.
- Take breaks and remember to do the best things first, and then worry about the rest. Fun can be short too.
After the Visit
- Ask your verbal children to talk about what they have seen, and talk about their favorite parts. Make it exciting for them tell friends and family.
- Children, verbal or nonverbal, love seeing pictures from a trip, and looking at family and friends. Put photos in an album or make a photo book on Costco.com, shutterfly, etc with photos of your family at the park, zoo or museum. Use these books to help them tell or remember the trip and the things you did, enjoying more family time afterwards.
- Look at picture books or draw pictures together to talk about, identify, and remember activities you did on the trip.
- If your child can tell you, ask what trip he/she would like to take next. If not, plan your next trip based on what your child enjoyed during this trip.
This information is based on Suggestions available on the website COOLCULTURE.ORG.
It is also based on the contributions of the dedicated parents and professionals at Challenge Early Intervention Center