A conference is a great way to grow your blog with kids. They offer a unique perspective and through them you can gauge how your kiddo will enjoy a product before it’s bought. Then again they can make you wish you’d left them shackled to their bed. The best way to make it a positive experience is to plan ahead.
With babes in arms be sure to use a sling, wrap, or mei tai. This will keep your kiddo up so they can see what’s going on. You can wear them on your chest, hip or back. The chest will allow you to nurse easily. I know from the years of wearing my own babes and others that they’ll be engaged and entertained by all the traffic and folks. If you’re worried you can attach a few toys to a clip & ribbon. If you use a pacifier…hook that sucker so you don’t loose it.
Toddlers…oh…this is a special age! I wore the kids in slings and mei tai’s as toddlers on my back or hip. Instead of toys I attached a sippy cup. This is ONLY a good idea if you don’t have a spiller. One little one discovered my hair was really cool wet. I had no clue he was soaking my hair in juice until I felt it leaking through my shirt. 🙂 Luckily it was a birthing conference so no one batted an eye to see me rinsing my hair in the bathroom sink.
I also LOVED the kid leash. Haters can hate but it allowed Tyler to run and explore and I still had a hand on him. Backpacks are an AWESOME idea as it helps your little one start ‘carrying his own weight’. The kids ALWAYS enjoyed their own bags of goodies. It’s a first step to responsibility and if you’ve a kiddo with SPD this also acts as a heavy work! SCORE!
Preschoolers were worn in mei tais on the back. Slings are good but the heavier weight of an older kid plus the bumping of a crowd just makes me nervous so I like ’em locked in. 😉 Now, be sure to be talking to your kid. Point out colors, shapes, ask them to find someone in a polka dot shirt, green hat, etc. INTERACT with them and ask some questions. When you’re talking to someone start passing them a small container with snacks to keep them entertained. They learned that to love stops because I’d give them treats!
Kindergartners-5th-6th grade….They’re too big to be carried… 😉 I would make sure you’ve a partner to help you. Kids all stay on the ends where there isn’t much traffic. This is when strollers are awesome. They’re great for little naps and they’ll hold your stuff. I like a blanket to distinguish our space. Keeps them from going everywhere and keeps things contained. I also like the electronics (be sure tocharge them up and save them for the last half of the day) and card games. You have permission to bribe them if need be. If anyone gives you a dirty look just smile and enjoy the quiet. And, use those old kids to help out. Pay ’em a few bucks to be a sitter.
7th graders and up are more than old enough to pull their own weight and help out. They can look through the schedule, figure out what speakers would be good to listen to and what supplements or curriculum they’re interested in. If you’re involving the kids in their education they own it!
Remember to bring non messy snacks, plenty of water, some games, and even a baby blanket for each kid. These can be rolled into a pillow, used to designate personal space on the blanket and can even act as a …blanket! 😉 And, keep it easy. If you’ve kids you’re not going to make it through everything nor are you going to be able to do what you’d do without a kid. But, most importantly, have fun! Leave the hall, leave a lecture and follow your kiddo’s lead.