Here are some tips to make the day more pleasant for everyone involved.

Phone Numbers

There are a few ways to make sure you’ll be notified immediately if your child gets lost in the park.

1. Liquid Bandaid

Liquid Bandaid is you friend. Write your number on your child’s arm or hand in Sharpie and then cover the area in liquid bandaid. In rain, shine, or water rides, the number will stay in place until you get home and are able to remove it with a swab of rubbing alcohol.

2. Bracelets

If you child isn’t likely to lose it, or really enjoys jewelry, make him or her a bracelet. Grab a package of those beads with letters and numbers on them from the store and string your phone number onto the bracelet along with the colorful beads.

3. Memory Game

Start a memory game with your child to help him or her learn your phone number by heart. The only surefire way to make sure the number doesn’t get lost is to implant it in your child’s memory. Surprisingly enough, even a two year old can remember a cell phone number if you work with him/her enough. It’s a great safety measure in any situation.

Clothing

1. Shoes

Make sure he or she is wearing recognizable shoes. Even if the absolute worst happens and someone manages to grab your child, abductors are much less likely to change the child’s shoes, even if they change the clothing because shoes that fit badly are much more obvious that loose clothing. Know your child’s shoes just like they know your phone number.

2. Layers

You never know what the weather is going to do, no matter how hard you try to plan for it. Pack jackets, umbrellas, ponchos, whatever you have to prepare for a chill and/or rain. Or be prepared to buy them at the park. Your child is NOT going to be willing to leave without a fight, and the joy of still getting to play will probably be worth getting a little wet.

Rides

1. Planning

Planning ahead is very helpful. See if you can get a map of the park ahead of time, or at least when you walk in the gates, and decide which rides are absolute “must”s and which are just “if we have time”s. You know you’re going to have a limited amount of time and a lot of lines to contend with, so be prepared for it in advance.

2. Height

Know going in how tall your child is and which rides that height may preclude him/her from. If your child is almost to that generic height requirement, and you don’t mind him or her riding under it, have your child stand on the heels of her shoes (like take the foot out and prop it on the back of the shoes) to give about an extra inch of height.

With all these tips, here’s the most important one—HAVE FUN! Your child is going to be bouncing off the walls and so should you. After all, how often do you get to go to an amusement park?

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