How do you explain the idea of a rally to kids?
We figured the best was was to take them to a rally. But not a rally with any specific political agenda. It just so happened there was this rally in town that called for nothing more than, sanity.
Sounds good to me!
But this did not sound like such a great idea to the kids.
Kids Rally around NOT Going to the Rally
The kids wanted to go swimming at the indoor pool instead.
And so, they formed a rally, complete with signs.
And like any good rally, you feel empowered by the crowd by making your point. Life lesson: a rally does not always mean you'll get your way.
Tips for bringing kids to a rally in DC
We knew it might get a little crazy so we talked it over amongst ourselves (the adults) and figured we'd do our best but bail if it just seemed too much. Here's what we learned:
1. Don't watch TV that morning - if we had actually watched TV and seen how many people were already there and how packed metro was at 9:00 am we would never have attempted it.
2. Pack snacks and water - downtown DC does not have a lot of food options and with thousands of people around the snack vendors are difficult to find. Plus, it gives them something to do while you take in the funny rally signs.
3. Dress in layers - a metro car packed with people (packed does not really give you an idea, take a bag of marshmallows and squeeze all the air out of it and mush it down into a ball and that's more like it) can feel like 85 degrees, even if it's 40 degrees outside.
4. Be flexible - it's good to go into it knowing that at any point you may bail. You may get all the way down there only stay at the rally for 40 minutes. But at least you'll get impressive photos of the crowd for your friends.
5. Ditch the Stroller - our kids were 6 and up so that wasn't an issue. My advice - you'll do better to carry a little one on your shoulders than try to maneuver a stroller out of a packed metro car or Constitution Ave. mobbed with people. One stroller with 2 kids in it got stuck as the doors closed on it. They got it out, but there was a moment of panic on everyone's face in that metro car.
When all was said and done we decided it had been a good 'experience'. Though we might have had more fun had we listened to the kids and gone swimming. Have you taken your kids to a large rally?