Archive for July 21st, 2012
Today we have a guest post from writer Dan Patterson of CityPASS:
Try telling a child, any child, that this year they’re going to Disneyland and watch their face immediately light up. Most of them will then move into the “Anticipation Stage” which generally involves a lot of sleepless nights and excited talk about their favorite movies and the rides they plan to go on at least 15 times. When it’s all said and done, though, what will they have to remember the experience? Just some expensive souvenirs and the standard pictures of them standing next to whatever mascot that wasn’t busy at the time.
I’m not saying your children are going to find the experience forgettable, because a trip to any of the famous attraction around southern California can leave indelible impressions, but there are some simple things you can do to help your kids hold onto their own memories and make the excitement of the trip last a little bit longer.
Give Them the Camera
I don’t mean give them your expensive, super-high-definition camera. I mean buy a disposable camera for each of your kids and let them go to town. Kids will get bored by the thirteenth time you tell them to “go over there and smile.” When they have their own camera, though, they can capture the images that meant something to them. When the trip is over, and you’re looking through your children’s pictures of Cars Land or one of the daily parades down Main Street, you may get to see the park from a whole different perspective.
A Personal Notebook
Even if your kids are just reaching that stage where they can put their thoughts down on paper, a personal notebook to record their impressions in words can help them really cement their memories of their favorite theme parks. This is a particularly good option if you go to somewhere like Universal Studios. Your kids are going to love the Transformers 3D ride, but they can’t exactly take a picture in the middle of it. Encourage them to write down their favorite parts of the adventure, and they’ll look back on it with fondness for years.
Sketch It Out
For those kids who just don’t like to write, or haven’t really acquired the skill, or just have more artistic tendencies, hand them a fresh, new sketch book. Let them draw some of their favorite memories, whether it’s in pen, pencil, or crayon, and talk about it together after the trip.
The Follow Through
Right now you might be thinking something along the lines of: “A pen and paper? Really? How archaic is that? There’s no way my children will take the time to do that.” But the truth is that this is just the start. A means to an end. If you really want to help your kids preserve their own memories you can encourage them to take their own pictures and write their own memories by promising to post the results on your own blog or Facebook page. Tell them that if they do a really good job you’ll put their pictures up there with their words so all your friends and family can see how great the experience was.
I can almost guarantee that your friends will read it and quickly hit the “Like” button, and your kids will get to relive some of those great experiences as they see others reading and appreciating their work. This way, you’re not just commemorating the experience; you’re helping to extend that initial excitement, too.
Our contributor Katie had the opportunity to check out Shakespeare in the Garden and shares all about the experience. It sounds like the perfect date night or the opportunity to introduce Shakespeare to older kiddos.