CYAN Nardiello has a lot of experience taking care of children at busy theme parks in her role as a ‘Disney nanny.’
Now, Cyan is sharing her expertise to help parents who perhaps can’t afford her $40 an hour fee, on top of tickets, food and other souvenirs, or are visiting a park that her company, Once Upon A Nanny, doesn’t cover.
Talking to Insider she shares her top tips, adding that while children will mostly enjoy their time at these parks, they can also find it rather overwhelming at times.
Set aside time for naps
While this won’t be possible if you’re just visiting for the day, if you are staying overnight in or near the park heading back for naptime can help avoid any tiredness induced meltdowns.
Cyan recommends naps for children of all ages, not just the very young.
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Discussing how to factor this time into your daily schedule she says: “I would go to the parks early in the morning when it's not as hot and the lines aren't so long.
“I'd return to your hotel around lunchtime and take a nap or enjoy the pool before going back in the evening because you'll skip the heat of the day and a lot of the crowds."
Alternate between indoor and outdoor activities
Cyan also recommends alternating between indoor and outdoor activities, especially if it is a hot day, as this will give children a chance to cool down if there is air conditioning inside.
This is especially crucial if you are attending a theme park in an area that can reach high temperatures, or are visiting while there’s a heatwave.
Alongside having time to cooldown, it’s also important to keep hydrated and reapply SPF every couple of hours.
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Give your kids plenty of love and hugs
Attending theme parks is something that many kids will find over-stimulating, especially those with ADHD or autism.
Cyan points out that even adults may find themselves getting a bit irritable due to their being so much to see and do – and it’s likely even more all-consuming for a child.
She suggests that at the first sign of fussiness or upset, you should take your child aside and away from some of the hustle and bustle and just give them a quick cuddle to help them calm down.
You should also be checking in with your child, or children, throughout the day asking if they’re okay and if they need a break.
Don’t skip the shows and other entertainment activities
If the park you attend, like Disney, has shows, parades and other such entertainment, you may be tempted to skip these, but according to Cyan this would be a mistake.
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These activities can offer a break from being constantly active.
Having a kid do rides all the time when their body is constantly moving and they can't control what they're looking at is a lot," Cyan adds:
"With shows, they're more in control of their senses and can sit and cool down."
Don’t buy souvenirs and gifts until the end of the day
Cyan’s final tip is to wait until the end of the day to purchase gifts, adding that while many rides exit into gift shops you should always tell the kids to wait until you’ve looked in all the shops so they can decide what they definitely want.
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Be sure to stress that yes, you can come back to the shop that you are in if it seems like they’re going to get upset about not buying the item right now.
You can also distract them by asking what ride they would like to go on next if it seems like a tantrum may be brewing.
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