Photo by Jo Ann Schneider Farris
My children grew up at a mall. I know that statement may sound odd, but it’s true. You see, I worked at a mall with an ice rink. My kids skated and skated all day long as I taught group and private skating lessons.
I must admit that it was quite a challenge to bring three little kids to an ice rink on a daily basis, but at the mall, every day was an adventure for my family. Not only did the rink provide a wonderful place to play, but after I was done teaching, I would put my kids in a sit-and-stand stroller and we would “hit the mall.” The children would eat, play, and explore! Of course, once in awhile, we did some shopping. The mall sold plenty of children’s clothing and cute girls clothes. The kids especially enjoyed going on mini shopping sprees.
I dressed my youngest daughter in cute baby girls clothes for those shopping sprees. I always had to have a change of cheap baby clothes on hand since I never knew what kind of “accident” might occur.
How to Take Young Children to a Mall:
Find parking as close as possible to an entrance with a handicap accessible door. Getting a stroller up a handicap ramp and pushing the automatic door to enter a mall will make things much easier for a busy parent.
Make sure to pack extra clothing, extra diapers, newborn girls clothes, wipes, tissues, and napkins or paper towels.
Bring some large tote bags with you to put in any items that you may purchase during your visit to the mall. The tote bags can be tied to your stroller.
Don’t plan on doing much shopping unless you come to the mall with your spouse or another adult. One adult can watch the children while the other adult shops.
Avoid escalators; use the mall’s elevators.
Call the mall in advance and make sure there is a play area at the mall. Kids love mall play areas. Play areas will make your children want to visit the mall over and over again.
Bring your own food instead of spending a lot of money at the mall’s food court. Food makes a mall visit extra fun!
Many malls have special events going on geared for children. Take advantage of those events.
Visit the mall’s pet store. That can be an adventure in itself!
Treat your children to a hot pretzel, an ice cream cone, or take a quick visit to the mall’s candy store.
Many malls have bookstores that host children’s activities or have areas where kids can cuddle up with their parents and read. Find those areas and spend a lot of time there.
Make sure you know where the family restrooms are located. Plan spending extra time there once in awhile…
Taking Kids to the Mall: Make it Easy!
The author of this article is Jo Ann Schneider Farris, About.com’s Guide to Figure Skating and the mother of three children.
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