Taking your family out to the ball game is a classic summertime activity. When you have young kids, part of the tradition is likely juggling temper tantrums and keeping the kids entertained when the initial excitement wears off. Keep your cool and enjoy the game with these tips.
Timing Is Everything
As a parent, you know your child has certain times of the day when he should never leave the house — those times when he is extra tired or hungry and just can’t handle stimulation. When choosing a ball game, avoid those tense times. All the Cracker Jacks in the world won’t calm a tired, hungry child.
Review the schedule to find a game that is better suited to your child’s natural schedule. Look for special events at games that appeal to your kids. At our local minor league games, the kids get to run the bases after home games on Sundays. On Friday home games, spectators are treated to fireworks after the game.
Pack for the Day
Don’t leave the house unprepared to meet your child’s needs. Is he still in diapers? Pack your diaper bags with more diapers than you think you’ll need. Bring your own changing pad in case the ball field facilities don’t include a diaper-changing station.
For older kids, quiet forms of entertainment can extend your stay at the ball game. Pack a baseball glove on the off chance you get a pop fly headed your way. A pinwheel, action figure or camera also works to keep your child entertained.
Scope out your local ball park for kid-friendly features. Our ball park has a water feature in the outfield where kids can splash in the fountains. Parents can still see the baseball action from the water feature area. The ball park also has a play area with slides and climbing tunnels. You have to pay extra and you can’t see the field from the area, but it can give your kiddo a break.
Keeping your sanity at a baseball game with kids often comes down to your mental preparation. Expect some whining and begging for endless treats. Prepare yourself to leave early if you can’t fend off the crabbiness. With realistic expectations, you can at least enjoy part of a baseball game with your kids this summer.