Preparing Your Child for the Santa Claus Parade

Is there anything more epically magical to a very young child than a Santa Claus parade? Larger than life characters that they’ve seen on TV or in their Golden Books walk past, close and real. And of course, the parade organizers save the best for last – Santa! For little ones, this is the equivalent of a teenager seeing their favourite rock star. It fills them with awe and wonder.

Naturally, your child is excited about getting to see the big guy in the red suit, which is all the more reason to carefully prepare before attending the parade. The following tips may be helpful to you.

Prepare for Hours of Cold

This one may sound like a no-brainer but please consider the fact that you and your youngster may be standing out in the cold for hours. This is Canada and Santa comes in winter, so take measures to stay warm.

If your child is young enough to sit in a stroller, than he or she is not moving around to help them stay warm, either. Taking a blanket is a good idea, as is a thermos of something warm to drink. The downside of that is, of course, leaving the crowd to find a bathroom.

If possible, take your little one into a warm place occasionally, such as a store or restaurant. Letting them move around to get their blood flowing helps some, too. Not only that but if the wait is long, kids can become bored and need an activity to keep them from getting restless.

Most people line up on the sidewalk early to get a good spot, so you could show up at 11:00 for a parade that doesn’t start until 1:00. Then there’s the parade to watch, followed by getting through a throng of people to get home. Which leads us to point number two.

Have a Plan

If you live in a big city like Toronto, you may be one of half a million people who stand along the parade route. Now, imagine your small child wandering even a mere few feet away. How would you find him or her in that crowd?

Never take your eyes off a toddler or baby and have a plan in place that older kids can follow, if they get lost. Maybe they go directly to a specified store and you look there first when trying to find them.

Also, make sure that they know their last name, address and phone number, if at all possible. Otherwise, write pertinent information on a slip of paper and put it inside their coat pocket. You may even consider giving a child a whistle to blow if they find themselves in surroundings they don’t recognize. This only works if the child is old enough to understand that it is the only time they should blow the whistle.

Miscellaneous Tips

Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before leaving home, in case you need rain gear or an extra blanket.

Warm apple cider makes a great thermos filler for kids and adults, alike. Apple juice warmed up works just as well.

A bag or backpack with snacks, extra hats, mittens and scarves, and maybe a favourite teddy bear, is a good idea. Oh, and don’t forget the tissues, you will need to wipe running noses – yours and your child’s. :-)

Above all, have fun at the Santa Claus parade and enjoy the fact that you are putting a little magic in your child’s life.

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